I try to buy organic whenever possible -- so much easier now that organics comprise a huge section of my market. But I recently came across a list of the 12 most contaminated non-organic foods, and was horrified to see that the fruit I eat most often — apples — is No. 2 on the hit list.
The list was compiled by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit in Washington that advocates for health-protective and subsidy-shifting policies, with an eye toward “shaming and shaking up polluters and their lobbyists,” according to their Web site, www.ewg.org.
EWG analysts developed this list based on data collected between 2000 and 2008 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from about 87,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce.
What If find most upsetting is that the EWG says that rinsing residue from produce does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling helps, but the peels are loaded with vitamins. And, according to the EWG, if you eat the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you consume an average of 10 pesticides a day.
Shopping used to be so much easier!
For the full list of 47 tested foods, check out www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php. There’s even a handy little list that fits into your wallet, so you will always know the most — and the least — contaminated fruits and vegetables.
Here's a list of the best -- and the worst -- foods:
Dirty Dozen: Most Contaminated Non-Organic Foods
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (Imported)
Least Contaminated Non-Organic Foods
- Sweet Corn (Frozen)
- Sweet Peas (Frozen)
- Kiwi Fruit
- Place the chopped dried apricots in a 3-cup bottle with a large opening. Add the rosemary and pour in the vinegar. Cover and shake well.
- Set aside in a cool, dry place for 4 weeks. Shake once or twice a day.
- Pass the vinegar through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Press down on the fruit and rosemary to extract as much flavor as possible.
- The vinegar keeps in a cool, dry place at least a year.