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What’s the Dirty Dozen?? Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out its Dirty Dozen list. This is a list of the 12 most chemical prone produce items. It’s useful information for most of us, but if you’re serving produce to kid whose brain and detoxification systems deviate from the norm, avoiding unnecessary pesticide exposure becomes extra important.

What fruits and veggies made the 2019 list?? On the list this year are strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. Hot peppers of all kinds were a bonus list member, so keep an eye out for those!

What do I do with this information?? I have two favorite ways to use this list. If you have space and time for a garden, pick items off of this list to grow at home. Seeds or seedlings are usually very affordable and growing these yourself keeps you in control of their potential exposures. Otherwise, this list can be used as a reminder of when to splurge and buy organic produce.

If I can’t buy these organic, what do I do?? If you can’t grow or buy these organic, don’t panic! It happens, and it’s important to remember that if you’re able to get produce into your child, you’re doing amazing, momma! The nutritional benefits of of the produce will far outweigh the potential hazards from the pesticides. This list will still be a handy reference that you can use as a reminder for what produce needs a little extra washing. Wash your produce right before eating to prevent bacteria growth from the added moisture from washing. I’ve got links pasted below to some of my favorite produce-washing tools. Surprise! None of them are fancy produce washes…the research shows that there’s not really a huge difference between using these washes and NOT washing your produce at all! Cold water that’s safe for drinking is your best friend. You may need to change up your technique depending on the type of produce you’re washing:

• If it’s got a smooth, hard surface, rinse well with cold water, then rub dry with a clean towel (How cute are these?! Wash with free and clear detergent and use over and over:

• If it’s bumpy or has a lot of nooks and crannies, use cold water and a scrubber (Here’s a great option with different bristle strengths in the same brush:

• If it’s soft or leafy, rinse well with cold water and drain in a colander (I’m a fan of this metal colander since it’s roomy and doesn’t pose a risk of BPA exposure:

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The views expressed in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and should not be substituted for medical advice.