2018 Dirty Dozen

I love that we seem to be getting much more aware of the foods that we eat.  Now we are still the fattest generation ever, but that has to do with the over processed foods we eat and the lack of movements that we do on a general basis.  

We are no longer eating the food we grow or raise and we no longer know which farm the rest of our food comes from.

We are also no longer working the farm, walking to work, or even tending to our yard.  As a society, we are no longer the people the last few generations were.

But, there are good things about this time in history too.  One of the best things is the access to information. We have at the tips of our fingers more information than we can even imagine.  This is both a blessing and a curse.

It is a blessing because if you want to know something it, Google it.  Easy peasy. There are multiple search engines, Safari, Bing, Yahoo. From there the info is almost endless.  You can find info in video form on youtube. You can search with images on Pinterest. You can find info like your old encyclopedia in Wikipedia, and that is just barely the beginning of ways to search and find.

Now that you have the world at your fingertips, the problem becomes what do you do with it.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t do anything with this knowledge. We play games, we watch mindless cute cat videos, we look at other people’s lives on Instagram and Facebook and find other ways to fill the small spaces of time in our days.

This week I became aware of a list.  Well, actually two lists. These lists are lists I think we should all be aware of.  The lists are irrelevant if we don’t do anything with this information, but I truly feel that if you have info that you know that others will benefit from, you NEED to share it.

According to the   Environmental Working Group, there is a list that they call the Dirty Dozen and then another list called the Clean 15.  These are lists that the EWG has put together in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP) report.  The Dirty Dozen is a list of fruits and veggies with the highest concentration of pesticides on them.

This sounds really scary, well it is.  Pesticides, although intended for insects, are at its source, poison.  That is why the farmers use them. Now, the pesticides won’t kill us the way they do those little critters, but when we eat the produce, we obviously eat the toxins.  The problem with ingesting these toxins is that we just hang on to them. The toxins are chemicals that our bodies don’t know how to get rid of, so our bodies store them.  As we eat more, we store more. Not cool.

I am in no way saying don’t eat these fruits and veggies, quite the opposite.  You should still eat them. Eat lots of them. They are still good for you. I love to eat all the things on this list.

The Dirty Dozen List

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

What a great list of produce.

There is good news to go with this list.  There is a pretty simple solution. Actually, there are a couple.  First, when you choose to eat organic, you are generally choosing to eat pesticide free.  Not always, but generally it is the better option.

There is another option. Wash your produce.  Yup, it really is that simple. You can use dish soap.  You can just use water. From what I have learned, it the action of rubbing that has the largest result in removing the toxins.  You can also use the little method below.


  1. Fill a large bowl with water.
  2. Then add a teaspoon of baking soda.
  3. Add the veggies.
  4. Soak for a minute or two.
  5. Scrub with a brush.
  6. And finally, rinse off the veggies.

The most important thing is that you are now informed and you have the power in your hands to choose to do something or not.  Let’s face it, knowledge is power. It is up to you.

In the next blog, we will talk about the Clean 15.  In the meantime, eat your fruits and veggies.


Accepting your own mortality is like eating your vegetables: You may not want to do it, but it's good for you. -Caitlin Doughty


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