veg squashMost of us don’t live on large parcels of land where we can grow anything we like and we have to make choices. When you first start listing the vegetables you want to grow you probably favor growing the vegetables that you particular enjoy eating but there may be another way to look at issue. Consider growing the vegetables that are most likely to have pesticide residue on them; this will allow you to avoid this health hazard while not paying extra for organically grown produce.

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non partisan organization, annually analyzes the pesticide results of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration for forty eight popular produce items and ranks them according to the amount of pesticide residue on them. The worst twelve produce items, called the Dirty Dozen, includes six vegetables and six fruits. The rankings change year to year and so checking with the EWG website is important when making choices.
In 2016 the six vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list are (worst listed first):
Sweet bell peppers
Cherry tomatoes
An additional five vegetables are found in the top twenty:
Hot Peppers
Kale/Collard Greens
Green beans

Celery and spinach may not be top choices for the home garden but tomatoes, sweet peppers and cucumber are. Hot peppers, lettuce and green beans are easy to grow and if you like eating them are sensible choices considering the health benefits.

By Karen