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Pesticide-Covered Apples: The Dirty Dozen Updated

This week, the Environmental Working Group released their list of the top twelve fruits and vegetables that likely contain pesticide residues: The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15. At the top of their list were apples, celery, strawberries and peaches. Some of the safest foods tested were onions, sweet corn, pineapples and avocados, all on the Clean 15 list. While these did register the cleanest on their list, it is still a good idea to wash them before consumption. The best way to avoid pesticides is to buy certified organic foods. However, in situations where this is not possible try to find your items at the local farmer’s market where you can talk with the grower about their specific pest and weed prevention strategies.

Two weeks ago we purchased a few apple trees for our yard. They’re still new fixtures, and we have a long way to go before they become a solid source of apples, but they serve as a reminder of how we can feel good about the foods we are growing in our own yard because we know what we are putting on them.

Along with our apple trees, the backyard boasts three raised-bed gardens holding a large number of tomatoes, a raspberry patch located behind our compost pile, strawberries and several different vegetables. My favorite, though, is the area where the chicken coop is getting ready to go. We’ve found that gardening is a great way to get the kids involved in doing something during the summer, and it also teaches them important lessons about our food supply and where food comes from.

Do you garden at all for pleasure or sustainable food? What are your favorite things to grow?

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