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    Posted on April 29th, 2011 Pam No comments

    SAFE FOOD? We can’t always choose the safest food, but we do have a choice in what we purchase. Sometimes we can use a safer substitute. Below are two lists, one is ‘clean’ fruits and vegetables, the other is ‘dirty’ fruits and vegetables.

    Here is a list of the famous ‘DIRTY DOZEN’. Most of this food is thought to be safe, but isn’t because of pesticides that are easily absorbed through the skin.

    1. Celery has no protective skin, so it is very hard to wash off chemical pesticides that are used to control pests.
    2. Peaches have delicate skin that readily soaks up chemicals. They are the ‘dirtiest’ tree fruit.
    3. Strawberries sold out of season usually come from countries that don’t have strict regulations for pesticides.
    4. Apples even when washed or peeled won’t eliminate chemicals entirely.
    5. Blueberries are one of the most contaminated berries on the market.
    6. Peppers when sprayed with insecticides, easily penetrate the skin.
    7. Spinach is the most contaminated leafy vegetable, it is usually very hard to clean because of all the cracks and crevices.
    8. Kale is also hard to clean completely.
    9. Cherries when purchased from a local market have as many as three times the pesticide as imported cherries.
    10. Potatoes are usually sprayed with chemicals to stop sprouting for longer storage. The chemicals can’t be entirely removed even when peeled.
    11. Grapes, no matter how through they are washed, the pesticides have soaked through the skin.
    12. Pears, as pests become more resilient to pesticides, more and more chemicals are used to keep pears pest free.

    Here is a list of the ‘CLEAN 15′.
    1. Onions, look for onions that have an onion smell, but not overpowering.
    2. Avocados have a tough skin that pesticides usually can’t penetrate.
    3. Sweet Corn is protected because of the many layers of husk.
    4. Pineapple, choose one that doesn’t have a strong sweet smell. This strong smell usually means that it is overripe and is starting to ferment.
    5. Mango is protected from pesticides because of it’s thick skin.
    6. Asparagus, is rarely sprayed with pesticides.
    7. Peas are least likely to have pesticide residue, they are protected by the pod.
    8. Kiwi peeling is a barrier for pesticides. Kiwi should smell good and be a little soft to the touch.
    9. Cabbage is not sprayed with many pesticides. Look for cabbage that has shinny leaves and firm. Discard outer leaves.
    10. Eggplant is least likely to have pesticides. Look for shinny skin, if the skin is dull it is more likely to be tough.
    11. Papaya, the pesticides stay on the skin, but wash it thoroughly before opening.
    12. Watermelon is safe because of it’s thick rind, always wash before cutting.
    13. Broccoli is safe because of the few pesticides needed to control pests. Buy a tight bunch, don’t buy if yellow flowers have opened. Stalks should be firm, not rubbery.
    14. Sweet Potato. Pesticide residue is unlikely. They are a super food, high in beta carotene and Vitamin A.
    15. Bananas are a very clean food, their thick peeling prevents most pesticides from entering the fruit.

    Ten additional ‘clean foods’.
    Radishes, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, honeydew, raspberries, cranberries, earthy mushrooms, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

    When having a garden, it is nice to know that you control what is on or in the vegetable or fruit.

    There are three things most people add to their garden.
    1. Herbicides to kill unwanted weeds.
    2. Pesticides to kill unwanted insects & bugs.
    3. Fertilizer to help the garden grow.

    Be as organic as possible with these three additions. There are lots of organic products available for the garden, be current with all new products. It is always good to ask questions at a Commercial Greenhouse.

    In your garden, be selective with fertilizer. Be careful with herbicide and pesticide sprays. Make notes of what you used and what the results were.

    Remember, sometimes less is more.

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