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How to Reduce Your Pesticide Exposure by 89% in One Week

Would you like to drastically reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and pesticides, without spending a fortune?

I thought you would. That’s why a new study from RMIT University in Australia caught my eye.

Let me tell you about it.

The study revealed that eating a diet of mostly organic versus conventional foods can significantly reduce your pesticide exposure.

Now I understand this conclusion isn’t jaw-dropping. It makes sense that if you’re eating foods coated with pesticides, your exposure will be greater than someone who is not. But stick with me here because this is where the study and its results got a whole lot more interesting…

The study randomly assigned 13 adults to consume a diet of 80% organic foods for seven days and then had them switch to a “conventional” food diet for another seven days. [1]

The results showed that after one week on the 80% organic diet their urinary DAP levels were 89 percent lower! (Urinary Dialkyl Phosphates (DAPs) is a method to assess exposure to organophosphate pesticides.)

That’s a very significant decrease in such a short period of time.

But if you’re thinking that an 80% organic diet still might be unrealistic, the good news keeps coming…

Thankfully, every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list ranking fruits and vegetables by how much pesticide residue they contain. According to the EWG, entirely avoiding conventional produce from the “Dirty Dozen List” (the 12 most-contaminated fruits and vegetables) and instead choosing organic sources of these fruits and vegetables can reduce your pesticide exposure by 80 percent. [2]

Here’s the “Dirty Dozen” list — the fruits and veggies you should buy organic whenever possible:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. Snap Peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

My personal tip would be to check out your local grocer’s weekly flyers for features on fresh organic produce. When I see organic produce that I like, I take it as an opportunity to stock up without having to break the bank!

Do you have any grocery shopping tips and tricks? Tell me in the comments below…


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Author: Monica Straith, BS

Monica is the PR and Outreach Manager and Fitness Lead at AlgaeCal. She’s an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist, and has a B.S. and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played varsity soccer for four years. Monica pulls from her experience in athletics and health to contribute to AlgaeCal and has also been featured on myfitnesspal blog, Prevention, and Huffington Post.