While fruits and vegetables are tasty and filled with necessary vitamins and nutrients, not everything in them is good for you. Unless you buy organic, your fruits and veggies grew up in fields teeming in pesticides. They could also be hiding bacteria like salmonella and E. Coli, which can cause food-borne illness. Of course, the FDA has regulations that only allow a “small” amount of pesticides and herbicides on the foods you buy, but really, who wants to ingest any amount of these chemicals at all?
Here’s a list of the 12 dirtiest fruits and vegetables you could be eating (if not organic):
7. bell peppers
12. imported grapes
These are considered “dirty” because they require extra effort to keep the pesticides and bugs off. Plus, there’s no skin to be removed.
But, don’t swear of these foods just yet. If you take the proper precautions and cleaning measures, you can continue feeding them to your family worry-free:
Tips for proper washing and handling:
* Wash your hands before handling or preparing food.
* Gently rub fruits and vegetables under running water. Ditch the soaps, detergents, bleaches or other toxic cleaning chemicals. You’re only leaving chemical residue on your produce.
* Commercial sprays and washes sold for cleaning vegetables are not much better than using plain water, so don’t waste your money.
* Firm produce, such as apples and potatoes, can be scrubbed with a vegetable brush under running water.
* Remove and throw away the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage heads. Rinse individual leaves while simultaneously checking for small bugs.
* Rinse berries and other small, fragile fruits and allow them to drain in a colander.
Here’s 15 of the cleanest fruits and veggies that are not organic:
3. sweet corn
6. sweet peas
14. sweet potatoes
15. honeydew melon
These foods are protected by skin and/or need to be cooked before eaten. That means they are perfect for ready eating (well, after you peel/cook them)!
Remember, just because you can’t see the bacteria and chemicals doesn’t mean they’re not all over your produce.