Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Dirty Dozen & The Clean 15!

Good evening Beautiful,

I had written a post for Lifestyle & Strength last weekend about The Dirty Dozen. I actually thought this list was more popular than it is. I originally came across the Dirty Dozen list while on a Twitter Chat one day and learned that it’s the list of the top fresh foods that people should buy organic because of the amounts of chemicals used and how we eat the foods (whole as opposed to peeling it, etc.). The article got some pretty good reviews, mostly because the people who left a comment didn’t know about this list and weren’t really sold on the whole “buying organic” concept. I want to share my findings with you today! Part of why I write this blog and share so many facts about foods with you is because I think knowledge is power and there’s no harm in knowing what you’re putting in your body, right?
The Dirty Dozen list I’m going to share with you comes from The Garden Basket and The Daily Green. Basically to sum it up, the Dirty Dozen is a list of tge 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, basically 12 fruits and vegetables that you should go out of your way to buy organic. Just as a side note, for those concerned with GMO’s, this list doesn’t take that into consideration, just pesticide residues. GMO products are not labeled in Canada so you must buy organic to be certain a food is non-GMO.
1.       Apples – more than 40 different pesticides have been found on apples because of the prominent fungus and insects in the orchards which means farmers need to spray various kinds and amounts of chemicals on them. The pesticides can be found in apple juice and apple sauce as well. Peeling helps, but takes away a lot of the apples nutrients in doing so.
2.       Celery – The USDA has detected over 60 different chemicals on celery. Good alternatives are broccoli, radish and onions.
3.       Strawberries – Due to the fungus that often grows on strawberries, farmers use various chemicals on the strawberries which remain on the berries as they travel and get sold in market. Nearly 60 different chemicals have been found on strawberries, fewer on frozen strawberries.
4.       Peaches – Like strawberries, peaches have been found to have almost 60 different chemicals on them however MUCH fewer have been found on canned peaches.
5.       Spinach – Both fresh and frozen spinach have been known to have over 50 chemicals on them, less on canned spinach.
6.       Nectarines (imported) – Domestic nectarines don’t have as many chemicals as imported nectarines, but they ring in at having about 33 different chemicals on them.
7.       Grapes (imported)  - When grapes were tested they came in at having about 30 different chemicals on them, the same for raisins.. Hey all you wino’s out there – wonder that means for the delicious wine you drink (myself included).
8.       Sweet Bell Peppers – These colourful, beautiful veggies make the Dirty Dozen list with a whopping 50 different pesticides on them.
9.       Potatoes – These root vegetables are so popular, I was actually surprised to see them on the list but they do bring in around 35 different chemicals. Less chemicals are found on sweet potatoes.
10.   Blueberries (domestic) – These little guys bring in about 50 different kinds of chemicals. Frozen blueberries often have less chemicals.
11.   Lettuce  - Lettuce is up there with blueberries bringing in around 50 chemicals too. A lot of leafy greens are contaminated, so make sure to buy organic as you can’t peel these!
12.   Kale/Collard Greens – If you know me well, you know I eat kale basically every single day, so I was sad to see this up there. I do usually buy organic though, so thank god!
On the other hand of all of this information is the Clean 15 list from The Garden Basket which is the list of fruits and vegetables least likely to test positive for pesticides, so they’re less harmful if you don’t buy these in organic.
  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocados
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplants
  9. Cantaloupe – domestic
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Grapefuit
  15. Mushrooms
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), if you choose 5 servings of fruits and vegetables from the Clean 15 rather than the Dirty Dozen, you can lower your daily pesticide intake by 92% - definitely something to think about, for you guys and myself included! I learned a lot when I first looked into the Dirty Dozen, so I hope this helps get those wheels in your head turning as well!
Onto the fitness fun stuff – today was back, biceps and triceps day. My legs are sore still from leg day a couple of days ago, but I’ve been stretching them out and I’m looking forward to Hot Yoga on Saturday with Nancy Francis! I worked out alone today but I also did a lot more exercises because I wasn’t that sore from my last back workout I thought I needed to kick it up a notch. Today was that notch. I did (and not in this order):
Reverse Pec Dec Machine
One-arm Cable Bicep Curl
One-arm Dumbbell Row
Assisted Pull-Ups
Assisted Dips
Cable Upright Row
Dips on Bench, legs out straight
Cable Bicep Curl (both hands)
Freemotion Cable Row Machine
Lat Pulldown
Tricep Pressdown
I won’t go into the boring details of my sets and reps and stuff, but I’ve started writing down my weights and reps so I can make sure I’m actually getting stronger! Check it – GoodLife has these awesome trackers that I’ve recently started using (recently as in this week).
Please note that my goal is "Get Jacked!"

I love using them, I feel so intense writing down my workouts when I’m lifting. J
I hope you learned something new from today’s blog. Tell me one thing you learned that you didn’t know before – I’m so curious!!
Stay healthy,


  1. whoah! i definitely learned a ton! never really thought about all the nast that is on my produce. i mean i wash it well and make sure to store it properly and cook it right, but holy cow!!! some things really do need to be organic!! thanks for this! <3

    1. Hey Jenna!! I know - totally scary. I started to buy more organic since I learned about it as well! Glad you enjoyed <3!

  2. I knew about the list before, but always good to get a re-fresher. Naturally, I try to buy everything organic but sometimes the options just aren't there :(. Hopefully someday everything will be organic and we finally won't have to worry about pesticide use.

    1. Hey Abby! So glad you already knew!! It means it's not as "new" to some people as I'd thought! And yes, I know... there's a lot of things you can't get organic, but I guess as long as you try, that's what matters! :)

  3. I've known about this list before - but like Abby said - always good to check it out again :) Nice workout!

    1. Hey!! Thanks for the kind words about my workout - surprisingly I'm not sore today... what the heck? :) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Bah! I eat so much non-organic spinach and kale! Guess that is going to change. Good thing I can sweat out some of those chemicals at hot yoga tomorrow :)

    1. GOOD NEWS! Organic kale isn't THAT much more expensive than non-organic, YAY... it's just smaller. :) See you tomorrow!

  5. Your list looks very similar to the paleo diet I started following recently. In your opinion, is it worth going to Whole Foods or would my regular grocery store suffice (I'm pretty much the anti-shopper so sorry for a probably basic question)?

    1. Hi James! Thanks for dropping by! I see you linked up fo the Frosty Fitness Challenge too - thanks so much! To be honest with you, I've never been to Whole Foods because there isn't one in my area, however I did put that on my list of things to do over the holidays! Most large grocery stores carry a lot of organic produce, but Whole Foods will definitely have more selection, even though it may be a little pricier. Do you live near a Whole Foods? I'd love to hear about it if you go!


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