The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists this week and sweet corn made the “Clean 15.”
The lists are designed to “guide” a shopper as they consider organic or conventionally grown produce. Because organic produce is so expensive, the “Dirty Dozen” list defines the foods that consumers should pay more for organic. The “Clean 15” list reflects produce where conventional is ok.
Both lists are dirty lies.
Most importantly, the pesticide residue that EWG claims is left on the “Dirty Dozen” foods really doesn’t matter. We cannot eat enough pesticide residue to negatively affect us unless we way overdue it. One author did the math and found that she’d have to eat more than 529 servings of apple a day in order to see a negative effect.
Secondly, the pesticide levels they claim to find are “found” via faulty science. The Journal of Toxicology published a study in 2011 that EWG’s methodology is fundamentally flawed. The pesticides they are finding on this produce that doesn’t wash off might not even really be there.
Finally, even if you fork over your hard earned dollars to buy organic produce listed in the “Dirty Dozen,” you aren’t getting pesticide free. It is a little known fact that organic produce still uses pesticides – though they are natural pesticides. But the natural pesticides are not as effective as the synthetic ones and must be applied more often and in higher concentration. If you’re worried about pesticides, you have to worry about organic foods too.
The thing is, EWG is a special interest group. They create fear for consumers and encourage them to buy all organic at a very high expense. They make non-farmers feel as though the only way to support the environment and promote healthy families is to eat organic – and they disregard all the science that says otherwise.
And in doing so – in creating fear – they steer customers away from fruits and veggies, when what really needs to happen is for everyone to eat more fruits and veggies without regard to how they are grown. More veggies equals healthier, happier lifestyles and science supports that fact.
So while we’ve read the lists and we smiled to see sweet corn make the “Clean 15” (probably because it’s GMO sweet corn and less pesticides were applied in the first place), we know that both lists are just a pile of … organic fertilizer.