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Reduce Your Family's Toxicity by Avoiding the "Dirty Dozen Plus"

Modified from a Maximized Living Article

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time." These effects can be especially harmful to children because they weigh less and their natural detoxification mechanisms are still developing.

Due to the effects result from low levels of long-term exposure, choosing pesticide-free organic options will reduce your family’s exposure to toxic pesticides.

Organic vs. Inorganic

The Environmental Working Group has released the 2018 version of its "Dirty Dozen," a list of fruits and vegetables most likely to contain pesticide residue. We recommend you carry a copy of the list above with you to remind you while grocery shopping.

The EPA has tested and approved the use of more than 1,000 synthetic pesticides. All of which are poisonous if exposed to excess.

Organically grown foods are raised without any of them. As a result, they contain significantly less pesticide than conventional foods. Even areas with limited access to truly organic foods can now benefit from online sources that offer a wide variety of toxin-free, all-natural whole foods.

Becoming Toxic

People absorb toxins in one of three ways: inhaling, consuming and absorbing through our skin. Eating foods containing the residues of pesticides and other toxins is the most common cause of increased toxicity.

Though peeling and washing your fresh produce is an intelligent practice, it will not completely rid your fruits and vegetables of pesticides. Toxins—especially pesticides—will seep into the flesh of a fruit or vegetable.

Simply scrubbing the outside of a contaminated apple will not prevent toxins from entering your body.

Reducing your Toxicity

A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated that eating organic produce can significantly reduce bodily toxicity. The study provided five consecutive days' worth of organic food to children who typically ate a non-organic, conventional diet.

After just five days, almost all pesticides had disappeared from the subjects' urine samples.

"This shows there definitely is a beneficial effect of eating organic produce," said study leader Dr. Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology.

Breaking Down the 'Dirty Dozen Plus'

Each of these foods—when conventional, not organic—made the list because test results revealed alarming levels of pesticide residue.

Organophosphates and Organochlorines

According to the EWG, "Tests in 2008 found that some domestically-grown summer squash--zucchini and yellow crookneck squash--contained residues of harmful organochlorine pesticides (like DDT) that were phased out of agriculture in the 1970s and 1980s but that linger on some farm fields."

Both organophosphates and organochlorine are "exceptionally toxic to the nervous system," and may cause many of the following:

  • Dizziness

  • Tremors

  • Anxiety

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

Organochlorine pesticides have been strongly linked to increased risk of breast cancers, according to the Oxford Journal "Toxicological Sciences."

What You Can Do

Shop organic and take the steps to detoxify your body. This does not mean you must immediately drop everything for a juice cleanse, but you should make efforts to utilize glutathione, vitamin D and other powerful antioxidants that protect your body.

By eating clean, organic foods and choosing high-quality, whole-food supplements, you can help your family avoid the pain and illness associated with chronic toxicity.

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