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dirty dozen 2023

Dirty Dozen: Seasonal Organic Saviours

Being the champions of health that we are here at Eversfield Organic, we are always looking for ways of ensuring our customers are granted access to natural, wholesome nutrition. We’ve taken a look at the 2022 ‘Dirty Dozen’ and subsequently picked out the most essential seasonal organic produce.

The Insight

Running since 2004, the dirty dozen is an annual list of (you guessed it) 12 fruits and vegetables which were found to contain the highest pesticide residues. Compiled by the Environment Working Group, the list bids to advise consumers as to which products they should be sourcing organically.

Pesticides are used in conventional farming to protect crops from rodent, insect, germ, and weed damage and thus increase the yield of crops. So, why should we take efforts to avoid pesticides in our food? 

A number of studies have explored the effects of high pesticide exposure to humans. One 2017 study found a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease and an alteration in genes in those with higher pesticide exposure. A 2016 multi-study analysis linked exposure to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Numerous other researchers have suggested a significantly higher risk of a number of cancers in those who had experienced high pesticide exposure. Finally, a study found that neurological and behavioural development in children may be negatively affected by even minor pesticide exposure.

dirty dozen 2023
Image: Our fresh, organic nectarines.

So, it most certainly pays to avoid pesticides when possible. In descending order (highest pesticide residue at the top), the 2022 dirty dozen list reads as follows. 

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Bell and hot peppers
  8. Cherries
  9. Peaches
  10. Pears
  11. Celery
  12. Tomatoes

Don’t be too worried about all the strawberries you’ve sampled over the summer! We’re on hand to protect you from pesticides this Autumn.


The Recommendations

With the September rain frequently reminding us that Autumn is now in full swing, a whole new range of fresh fruit and veg is now entering its prime. We’re particularly concerned with the vegetables that were found to have the second and third highest pesticide residue rates among conventionally farmed crops, spinach and kale. We feel it is imperative that these greens are sourced from organic means. Celery also comes in at eleventh on the dirty dozen, so opt for our crunchy and crisp organic variety when perfecting your Bloody Marys in the festive build-up!

Image: Eversfield Organic Market Garden Rainbow Chard

Luckily, our organic Market Garden rainbow chard, baby, and big leaf spinach are all packed with essential vitamins, fiber, and calcium without the addition of harmful pesticides. We suggest taking your favourite and combining it with shavings of hard cheese, creme fraiche, mushrooms and your choice of pasta for a warming, creamy dish. 

Be sure to grab our curly kale to accompany chunky organic sausages, fresh pumpkin gnocchi, Eversfield Organic chicken bone broth, and generous sprinkles of cheese for a hearty and delicious midweek one-pot.


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