Green Up Your Kitchen Challenge Tip 1: Print Out A List Of The Dirty Dozen

Published on March 27 2012 - 7:37 PM
Green Up Your Kitchen Challenge Tip 1: Print Out A List Of The Dirty Dozen
Toxins get into our bodies through more than just food. We are exposed to them through our carpets, lawn chemicals—even our clothing. Each day this week, we will post a new, easy tip to help you detox your kitchen and your diet.

Here’s today’s tip:

Tip 1: Print Out A List Of The Dirty Dozen

Print out a pocket-size list of the Dirty Dozen—the 12 fruits and vegetables the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) has identified as having the most pesticide residues—and use it when you go grocery shopping to curb your pesticide exposure. (Find out which fruits and vegetables you should buy organic here.) Pesticide exposure is linked with diseases of the nervous system and problems with cell growth, including reproductive problems and some cancers. Remember, though, even conventionally grown fruits and vegetables deliver important vitamins and other nutrients. So if you can't find organic, don't sweat it—it's more important to eat fruits and vegetables than to shun them because they're conventionally grown.

Two more tips to get pesticides out of your life:

  • Leave your shoes at the door. Wearing your shoes around the house can track in pesticides sprayed on lawns and other pollutants from outdoors.
  • Grow some of your own food. Planting an herb pot is a good place to start. It's easy to grow your own herbs and worth doing: a 2011 report revealed that cilantro is often laced with pesticide residues. Feeling more ambitious? Plan a kitchen garden with this guide.

For more Green Up Your Kitchen Challenge tips, visit the Green Up Your Kitchen Challenge landing page.

Kerri-Ann Jennings is a registered dietitian with a master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University.