On Instagram @AndreaHardyRD, I talk all about the popular ‘Dirty Dozen’ list which moralizes food and encourages fear around fruits and vegetables, which are perfectly safe and very nutritious for us to eat and enjoy.
To be clear. The EWG is a lobbyist group, not a scientific organization.
They’re hell bent on creating FEAR around food. None of their ‘research’ is published in peer review journals, most of the time they won’t even share their methods.
Peer review, having other experts double check your work is CRITICAL. Sharing your methods, so that others can REPEAT your tests, is CRUCIAL in collecting a body of evidence. Seems simple right?
The dirty dozen list MORALIZES foods ‘dirty and clean’ and scares the average consumer. You know my nutrition motto – if it scares you, its probably NOT TRUE.
I mean… there’s a MILLION things wrong with this list, but here’s a few critical points:
1) Organic and conventional farmers both use pesticides to help get food to market. .
Did you know, the EWG ONLY grades conventional? This is to scare people out of consuming conventional produce. Obviously.
2) In a peer reviewed study, swapping from conventional to organic doesn’t actually change pesticide exposure (WHICH is still negligible), because organic uses pesticides too!
3) To understand risk, you’d need to know what kind of pesticide they are finding, which of course, they don’t report. Not to mention their rating system is bunk.
4) ~50% of produce has NO detectable levels of pesticide remaining. Over 99% of foods tested are no where near cut offs for safe levels. In peer reviewed studies, when they were detectable at all, were often 1000’s to millions times lower than the chronic reference doses (the numbers that are set where no observable adverse effects are seen). And then we wash our produce, whether its organic or conventional right?
I have SO MANY people say ‘I try to feed my family clean as best I can’ – showing the enormous pressure these sorts of marketing tactics put on people.
Facts are, the majority of us don’t eat enough fruit & veg – which has CLEAR impacts on our health. Wash your fruit and veg – whether it’s organic or conventional.
Our food system is safe. Our produce, both conventional and organic is safe. Don’t let the EWG scare you out of buying fresh fruits and vegetables, whichever you choose!