Dirty Dozen or Clean 15?
If you make your dog home-cooked meals, it’s always best to buy organic ingredients but did you know that with non-organic celery, you can get a dose of up to 76 different pesticides? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) , if you’re eating non-organic celery, that’s the number of pesticides you may very well be ingesting. According to the 2010 edition of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, the top 12 pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables contain 47 to 67 different pesticides per serving.
Different pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems, including nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone system effects and skin, eye and lung irritation.
We all know too sadly that compared to humans, dogs live shorter lives. They also have correspondingly shorter latency periods for the development of life-threatening diseases such as cancer (Kelsey 1998). According to truth4dogs.org, 46% of all dogs dying of disease, will die of cancer.
The Dirty Dozen (Most Contamination)
- Domestic blueberries
- Sweet bell peppers
- Spinach, kale and collard greens
- Imported grapes
The Clean 15 (Least Contamination)
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Kiwi fruit
- Sweet potatoes
- Sweet onions
Notes from the EWG:
1. The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.
2. You can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and instead eating the least contaminated produce, according to EWG calculations. When you eat the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you’ll be exposed to an average of 10 pesticides a day. When you choose fresh produce from the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables, you’ll consume fewer than 2 pesticides per day.
3. Just washing your produce isn’t the answer. The data used to create the Guide is from produce tested as it is typically eaten. This means washed and, when applicable, peeled. For example, bananas are peeled before testing, and blueberries and peaches are washed. Because all produce has been thoroughly cleaned before analysis, washing a fruit or vegetable would not change its rank in the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide (i.e. washing a conventional apple will not make it is less contaminated).
Again, you can download the complete guide or iPhone application so you have it with you when you go shopping.