The Dirty Dozen: 12 fruits & veg to buy organic.

This week is National Vegetarian Week, the UK’s annual campaign to promote the benefits of a meat-free, vegetarian lifestyle.

I’m forever blabbing on about the wonders of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables on the skin.

Strawberries, broccoli and red pepper for example are excellent sources of Vitamin C, which encourages collagen production.

Collagen is the substance that holds skin together, so the more collagen, the firmer and plumper skin will appear.

While fruit and vegetables are incredibly good for us, the chemical pesticides and fertilizers they are commonly doused in are not.

I recently came across a great article about the EWG’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ blacklist, which names and shames the top 12 most contaminated fruit and vegetables (read in full here).

According to the EWG, or Environmental Working Group, American consumers ingest an average of ten pesticides when they get their full five-a-day.

These pesticides have been linked to various health scares, particularly with regard to foetal and early childhood development.

The Journal of Toxicology (read in full here) reports that conventional produce is likely to contain 2.9 to 4.8 times more pesticide residues than organic produce (which still contains some pesticide residues). However, the article goes on to criticise the methodology of the EWG and states that pesticide residues are well within safe limits.

The EWG suggests you can reduce your pesticide consumption by buying the following worst offenders in certified organic form:
1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Apples
5. Blueberries
6. Nectarines
7. Peppers
8. Spinach
9. Kale
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes

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