the dirty dozen

click to enlarge (via audreyhepburncomplex)

I’m not a germaphobe*. I don’t obsessively wash my hands and don’t get grossed out by touching things like feet or door knobs. Because of this, I’ve never really been one to scrub my fruit and veggies clean before I pop them in my mouth. In my recent go organic efforts, I’ve become hyper aware that the waxy coating on my apple is a nasty chemical. Here’s what I found about getting those pesticides off:

Rule number one: Wash your fruits like you wash your hands: “Use soap, Jimmy!” Mom and Dad were right: just running your mitts or your munchies under tap water does little to remove oily grime. Agricultural pesticides do not come off in water, either. If they did, farmers would have to apply them after each rain or even a heavy dew. That would be both labor-intensive and expensive. So petrochemical companies make pesticides with chemical “stickers” that are insoluble in water. They do their job and stay on the fruit, rain or shine.

Soap, or detergent, is more effective in removing pesticide residues than you think. Rinse until the water is clear. When you handle the detergent-washed fruit, you will also notice that it feels different, too. We are so used to fruit with chemical coatings on it that when we touch truly clean fruit, it’s a new tactile experience. Go ahead, try it. Nobody’s looking. (via

(via weheartit)

Or make it easy on yourself and buy produce that is less contaminated.

12 Most Contaminated (aka the Dirty Dozen)

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

12 Least Contaminated

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

*spell check offered ‘hermaphrodite’ as the correct spelling of this word. hm.



Filed under nomz

3 responses to “the dirty dozen

  1. Adrianne Russell

    My grandmother always kept a nail brush on the sink for washing fruit with Dawn dish soap. I used to think it was so weird, but now I know why!

  2. I have a bottle of some kind of fruit / veggie wash I got at the grocery store that is non-toxic and gets all that crap off. You can tell it works because that waxy feeling goes away after you use it.

  3. I’ve been trying hand soap…but I think I need a scrubber brush dedicated to produce.

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