Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen
To some The Dirty Dozen & The Clean Fifteen might just sound like numerical band names. But to those who care about the amount of synthetic pesticides in their food it is so much more than that. The dirty dozen and the clean fifteen refer respectively to the fruits & vegetables that are most and least likely to contain pesticide residue, according to the Environmental Working Group.
In short the dirty dozen list is basically a list of produce you should buy organic, whenever possible. So whether you are on a budget and wish to get the most out of your organic purchases or you just want to know which produce had the highest pesticide residues, the list is a great help.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzes data from the American Department of Agriculture about pesticide residue and ranks foods based on how much or little pesticide residue they have. The group has estimated that individuals may reduce their exposure by 80% if they switch to organic when buying the 12 foods on their dirty dozen list.
Why should we care?
Pesticides are made to be toxic and poisonous for the various pests that might attack produce. Different pesticides have been linked to several types of health issues. So by choosing organic produce whenever you can within the dirty dozen list you can enjoy the many health benefits from your daily fruits & veggies without worrying about the risk of the potentially harmful chemicals that might still cling to them!
According to the studies done by EWG every sample of imported nectarines and 99% of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue! One single grape contained 15 pesticides and the average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food tested. That’s a lot of pesticides that we could avoid consuming by just adjusting our shopping list a little!
So what are the Dirty Dozen foods?
Underneath you will find a listing of the 12 worst offenders, ranking from most to least pesticide residue. However, if you wish to see other offenders EWG offers an extensive list of produce free for anyone to browse.
In addition to these there are also three other vegetables added to EWG’s Dirty Dozen Plus list.These three products contain, according to EWG’s research, trace levels of some highly hazardous pesticides. Leafy greens, more specifically kale and collard greens, along with hot peppers fall under this category.
What about the clean fifteen?
EWG’s Clean Fifteen, the produce least likely to contain pesticide residues, are avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. These fruits & veggies were found to have a low concentration of pesticides and had relatively little residue from pesticides on them.
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 block of organic tofu, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
3 green shallots, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large red capsicum, diced
1 large corn cob, cooked
1/2 cup edamame beans
1 cauliflower, florets removed
4 tablespoons tamari (or to taste)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Chilli flakes (to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Optional extras: 1 small head of broccoli, added with the carrot and capsicums. 1/2 cup of peas to replace the edamame beans. 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to replace the tamari. ½ cup chopped celery
One of the most common questions I get asked when coaching clients and when talking to people is how to cook up a fast fresh meal, especially during busy weeknights. This dish is your go- to busy mums (and everyone else too!). It’s so easy to make, packs a huge vegetable punch for big and little kids.
Fast Family tip: If you have a food processor all of the chopping can easily be quickly whizzed up in there.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Gently cook the tofu until lightly golden. Remove from the frying pan and set aside.
Add the last tablespoon of oil to the frying pan along with the garlic and the shallots. Cook until fragrant and soft. Add the carrot and the capsicum and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Remove the corn kernels from the cob of corn and add to the frying pan, along with the edamame beans. Stir to combine.
Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles ‘rice’. If you haven’t got a food processor you can grate the cauliflower using a box grater. Place the cauliflower into a nut milk bag or between a few sheets of paper towel to remove the excess liquid. Add the cauliflower to the frying pan and combine with the other vegetables.
Add the tamari, chilli, salt and pepper and combine. Stir in the cooked tofu. To finish add the sesame oil and combine. Serve.
Sarah Tamburrini, is a Health Coach and a Beautiful You Life Coach in-training. With a background in children’s occupational therapy, Sarah supports frustrated and anxious parents, helping them regain the health and wellbeing of their children by replacing sugar and ‘junk food’ diets with deliciously wholesome ‘real food’. Sarah’s got all the favourites (and more) cleaned up, ready to win children over! Join Sarah in her unwavering belief of food as medicine + recipe whizz skills + passion for un-picking picky eating, at Practise Glow. (http://www.practiseglow.com)