Each year since 2004 the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental organization, has ranked pesticide contamination in popular fruits and vegetables. The list is updated each year to identify those foods with the highest and lowest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.
As a certified nutrition coach, whether you are working with elite athletes, pregnant women, or children you should recommend whenever possible pesticide-free fruits and vegetables and teach your clients of their harmful effects.
The newest addition to the “Dirty Dozen” for 2019 is the popular health food kale, now listed among the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. More than 92 percent of kale samples had two or more pesticide residues detected.
Dirty Dozen for 2019:
Each of these twelve foods tested positive for one or more different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. Over 90 percent of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and kale samples tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides. Multiple samples of kale showed 18 different pesticides and both kale and spinach samples had, on average, 1.1 to 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other food. By contrast, avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest foods with less than 1 percent of samples showing any detectable pesticides.
Nearly 70 percent of the conventionally grown produce sold in the U.S. is contaminated with pesticide residues. The Dirty Dozen list was developed to help you reduce your pesticide exposure as much as possible by indicating which produce you should always buy organic.
For most Americans who do not live or work on or near a farm, the greatest risk of pesticide exposure is through their diet. Eating organic fruits and vegetables free of pesticides benefits health, and this is especially important for pregnant women and children. If your goal is healthy eating, these 12 foods should be avoided and only eaten when organic and pesticide free.
The Dirty Dozen list has a 13th item listed as an addendum – hot peppers. Hot peppers do not meet their traditional ranking criteria but were found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.
The Environmental Working Group also publishes the “Clean Fifteen” a list of the top 15 tested produce contaminated with the least amounts of pesticides. The clean list includes:
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweet peas
There was no detection of pesticide residues in 70% of these foods. Less than 1% of avocados and sweet corn tested positive for pesticides and were considered the cleanest of the clean list.
How You Can Help
If you want to help clients with food, diet, weight management and improving the results of their fitness routines, the Fitness Nutrition Coach course is for you. You will learn about optimal nutrition, including proven techniques for increasing energy, optimal health and decreased dependence on medications. Instantly increase your job and career opportunities with this popular professional credential.
You can become a Certified Personal Fitness Chef and expand your current personal chef business, or add a new profit center for your fitness or wellness business. Many personal chefs cook and coach people in groups to help more people and earn more money per hour. Some chefs provide weekly meal prep service for health-minded customers and athletes.
Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
NESTA coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.