In the past, we’ve discussed dealing with getting picky children to eat healthy meals. Often, parents find it extremely challenging to get their children to eat fresh fruit at breakfast, when the box of Froot Loops is screaming with drawings of their favorite cartoon characters. Feeding a family healthy takes time, and continuous effort. Getting children to go with you to pick out fruits and vegetables, or simply having them aid you as you wash a snack or prepare dinner, increases the likelihood of them eating from those items. Give it a try- and see how your child likes eating those strawberries after washing them for you.
Nonetheless, the vital question becomes: “which fruits and vegetables are essential to purchase organic when possible, and which ones can you purchase conventionally grown without any harmful effects to your body?” The Environmental Working Group, (EWG) releases an annual list of the produce highest and lowest in harmful pesticide residues. Some of these pesticides are cancer-promoting, while others affect fertility, disrupt your hormones, or even kill bees. It’s best to avoid these produce, and feed your family nutritious bursting ones instead.
In fact, the EWG mentioned in its 2017 report that just one single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides! Spinach samples have been found to carry mold and DDT, which is a neurotoxic insecticide banned in the US to begin with! For that, I’d settle that you’re better off not eating any spinach, than to go for conventionally grown spinach! The list is in order of highest to lowest, with strawberries being the highest in harmful pesticides and potatoes being the lowest. The Clean 15 list is the very opposite: the produce you can be comfortable purchasing conventionally grown, as they are least likely to harbor any pesticide residues. Importantly, as I’ve discussed in other articles and in my book, Sunnah Superfoods, you want to avoid purchasing any non-USDA Organic certified corn or corn products. Much of corn sold in the US is genetically engineered, and comes with its own set of harmful health consequences. Thus, although corn is on the Clean 15 list, I would advise all my clients and readers alike, to purchase it organic.
In summary, the dirty dozen are the fruits and vegetables found to carry the highest levels of pesticide residues-harmful to your health in many ways. I’d highly recommend you avoid purchasing the conventional version of these produces.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
As I’ve stated, the Clean 15 are the fruits and vegetables least likely to be contaminated with harmful pesticides. You can feel comfortable purchasing these fruits and vegetables non-organic, and be at ease that they’re not full of health spoiling residues.
- Sweet corn (But, remember, the issue with most corn being genetically engineered)
- Frozen Sweet Peas
Noor Hani Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.