Summertime is the season with the greatest variety of fruits and vegetables available. They are the perfect fuel for active days with activities like hiking, biking, tennis or a long day of golf. Staying hydrated and well-nourished to match the energy output is key. Luckily, fruits and vegetables are filled with water, clean carbs and fiber to keep you sated for hours. When choosing produce this summer, keep in mind that some crops have a heavier pesticide residue than others. This may influence whether to purchase organic options instead of conventionally grown produce.
The 2019 Dirty Dozen list released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) lists strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and hot peppers as types of produce with the highest pesticide usage.
In contrast, EWG's Clean 15 includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, sweet peas frozen, onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwis, cabbages, cauliflower, cantaloupes, broccoli, mushroom and honeydew melons contain the lowest amounts of pesticides.
Keep in mind, almost all fruits and vegetables need to be washed to remove pesticides, dirt, and germs from handling before eating. Here is a handy guide which will show you the best way to accomplish that task.
Note that some of United States grown produce is from genetically modified seeds. GMO and Organic are not automatically linked. Organic means how the food was grown, GMO means where the seeds come from. See below to learn more!
USDA Organic Seal
- Certified 100% organic, no GMO's
- Produced without using any products on the prohibited chemicals list
- Label is highly regulated
- Gold standard for Organic Certification
- Certified 95% organic
- Additional 5%must be on the USDA approved list
Made with Organic Ingredients
- Certified 70% organic
- Product contains no artificial ingredients
- Applications must be submitted, but are not typically investigated
Non-GMO Project Verified
- Ongoing testing to ensure products are using the best practices for GMO avoidance
- Does not mean product is organic
- Currently the only Non-GMO governing body
Non GMO Label
- Non through a standard
- Claims are not required to be verified
Here are two favorite summer recipes for you to enjoy! A beautiful apricot and kale salad and a delicious berry smoothie bowl.
Environmental Working Group. (n.d.). Dirty Dozen™ Fruits and Vegetables with the Most Pesticides. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php
Environmental Working Group. (n.d.). Clean Fifteen™ Conventional Produce with the Least Pesticides. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean-fifteen.php
Miers, T. (2019, June 17). Thomasina Miers' Californian apricot salad – recipe | The Simple Fix. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/jun/17/apricot-salad-recipe-burrata-kale-crunchy-seeds-thomasina-miers
Tasty. (2017, April 26). Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe by Tasty. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://tasty.co/recipe/berry-smoothie-bowl