The dirty dozen

When it comes to the contentious  issue of eating organically, I confess that a lot of the time I don’t.  While I was in Bali I ate ALL organic food because I went out to eat.  It was available, excellent and well priced.  Everyone around me was eating organic, plant based food.  But now I find its not as freely available, there’s less choice and its expensive.  So I want a bit of a yardstick to measure what items are FULL of pesticides that I’d be better off buying organic or growing myself.  And I also want a list of the produce that I can get away with buying despite them being grown with crap sprayed all over them.

Why would I go to all of this trouble? 

Xenoestrogens are one reason.  Pesticides and parabens mimic estrogen in the body, disrupting the endocrine system.  This can lead to a multitude of chronic conditions including hormonal imbalance which wreaks havoc, particularly for women.  Its called estrogen dominance (ED).  How many women do you know who have endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids, ovarian or breast cancer or the symptoms that go with them – acne, depression, digestion problems, inability to conceive, weight gain…the list goes on.

You probably would have heard that the addition of parabens to skin care products, cosmetics, shampoo’s and moisturisers cause the same endocrine disruption as pesticides.  Well, did you know that parabens are commonly added to packaged food?  The dirty dozen of food parabens as published by EWG, list a bunch of foods that could be causing havoc in your body including:

Jellybeans, tortillas, muffins, beverages, dairy products, meats, preserved meats, chips, sausages, lard, anything with artificial colouring, microwave popcorn….anything packaged listing ingredients with strange numbers…

…I should summarise by saying that anything processed that has a shelf life is likely to be full of crap and ultimately hormone disruptors.  And all of them are contributing to sickness.  How can the body regulate itself – how can it reach homeostasis – that place where the all of the systems work together harmoniously to provide the perfect recipe for the body to operate without Dis-ease?

In a study of children living on farms, their fat contained up to 14 pesticides of which some were estrogen mimicing

The dirty dozen
This is a list of 22 foods to buy or grow organically.  These suck up pesticides and hold onto them.  There was originally a dozen, hence the name.


Apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, bell peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, chillis, kale, collard greens, zucchini, lettuce, blueberries, fatty meats, milk, coffee, wine, chocolate.

The clean 15
This is a list of foods that don’t suck up pesticides quite so much.  One tip you can use is to rinse inorganic produce in a water/vinegar solution to remove any residue.


Onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, mango, papaya, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, mushrooms.

Pumpkins have two big problems; insects love them and they catch lots of diseases such as bacterial wilt and mildew. So what do the farmers do? Apply liberal doses of pesticides and fungicides. More bad news, pumpkins are so efficient at absorbing poisons from the soil they could be used as a filter to clean out toxins like DDT, PCBs and Dioxins.

Well I got the above quote from the green eatz site and I don’t know how true it is because my Mum has a bumper crop of pumpkins growing  without pesticides.  However pumpkin doesn’t feature in EWG’s top 50 dirty dozen so I’m not going to fret over the inorganic pumpkin I used in this soup!

Pumpkin soup

1/4 pumpkin, chopped
Stock or bone broth
Ground coriander
Garam Masala
Vegetable boullion

1.  Put pumpkin in pot
2.  Cover with broth.
3.  Add in everything else to taste
4.  Bring to boil, then simmer till pumpkin is tender.
5.  Blitz in blender until silky smooth.
6.  Add in a dollop of coconut cream if you’re feeling decadent.


My vitamix turns out the BEST silky smooth soup!

Good housekeeping
Clean eats


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