The Dirty Dozen

Have you heard of ‘The Dirty Dozen’?

The Dirty Dozen is a list of 12 fruits and vegetables which have been found to contain the highest levels of pesticides. The aim of these lists, which are updated yearly, is to inform consumers about which fruits and vegetables to prioritise when buying organic. Of course we dream of a future where everything in our shopping carts is organic, but we know that right now, not everyone has access to organic foods. We work very hard here in Ireland to make organic food accessible to as many people as possible. Please take a look at what we can convieniently deliver to your door here.

Dirty Dozen lists are fascinating and highlight the danger of the cocktail of chemicals found in our food. Unfortunately you won’t find a list of the pesticides used on most fresh fruit and veg. However we found it very interesting looking at this label on lemons from a popular online supermarket here in Ireland. Although it is shocking to see, at least it is upfront and evident and we hope that labelling like this will soon become the norm so that consumers can make informed choices. What do you think?

For a ‘Dirty Dozen’ list most relevant to us here in Ireland we’ve been looking at PAN-UK. Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is a network of over 600 participating nongovernmental organisations, institutions and individuals in over 90 countries working to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. Here’s a screenshot from their website on the latest list:

Fruits (especially citrus) and salads seem to be the biggest culprit. But it’s important to remember that these are just the top 12 fruits and vegetables containing pesticide residue, almost all non-organic foods will contain pesticides. Unfortunately washing or peeling your fruit and veg will not be totally effective in removing the pesticides. Many pesticides are systemic, meaning they are absorbed by the plant and can be found throughout, not just on the surface.

There is a growing body of evidence that pesticides can become more harmful when combined and the ‘cocktail effect’ has long-been recognised as an area of concern. Despite this, little has been done to understand or prevent the human health impacts that may occur due to long-term exposure to pesticide cocktails. Find out more about the cocktail effect.

Let us make it easy for you to avoid the cocktail of chemicals found in your supermarket trolly. Order a box from us today, we deliver to every address in Ireland and Northern Ireland and we would love you to join the Green Earth Organics family.

What are your thoughts on organic farming versus the over-use of pesticides on most (but not all of course) non-organic farms? Do you think pesticides are essential to produce enough food for a growing population? Or is there a better way with tried and tested organic systems? We’d love to chat in the comments. We’ll leave you with this quote we love from Mary Jane Butters.