Just Wash It – Ignore the Dirty Dozen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) sends out a powerful marketing campaign every year, (kale-haters may love this year’s list) but it’s just a myth that keeps on giving. You’d think the “DONATE NOW” button is a tip-off. It’s the epitome of bad science. For years, the EWG has published a “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” list of fruits and vegetables, suggesting you should avoid the “dirty” ones, and choose certified organic options instead.

Despite the fact that the science does not support their methods, nor position, this list continues to get huge press every single year. The popular news feed, the Skimm, featured in their feed….In response to the EWG, a more reliable source on produce (both organic and convention) was established, reassuring US consumers that all the produce you find in your markets is safe, and how to handle it before eating (wash it all, unless marked as pre-washed).

I’ve written about risk and hazard, and how “the dose makes the poison” before, and I could write more about the EWG’s new list, but I have several colleagues who already have, so they’ve saved me the time. Check out these blogs and a podcast on the subject to get informed on what science has to say about the Environmental Working Group’s methodology and conclusions:

Abby Langer Nutrition

Street Smart Nutrition

Healthy Under Pressure Podcast

Survivor’s Table

How to Handle Produce:

  • Rinse salad greens thoroughly through a colander
  • Cut ends off green onions, celery, leeks, and run water through, rubbing out any dirt, and washing thoroughly
  • Rinse berries thoroughly in a colander
  • Rinse all vegetables before cooking or eating
  • Rinse apples, pears, and grapes, (scrubbing as needed with hands or soft brush) and dry with a paper towel
  • Wash citrus that you slice to use with peel in cooking or drinks

 

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