If you buy your spinach organic, you’ll enjoy a meal that’s high in crucial vitamins A and K, and has anti-cancer properties to boot. But conventional spinach sits high atop the Dirty Dozen list due to approximately 48 pesticides used in its production.
That puts your family at risk of consuming carcinogens, hormone disrupters, and neurotoxins. Spinach is also relatively high in oxalates and purines, both of which can lead to kidney stones and gout. Spinach is best avoided by anyone who is prone to stones.
3. Conventional Kale
Kale is a leafy green that is often hailed as a superfood, due to its high nutritive value and purported healing properties.
Kale is packed with calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron. Unfortunately, the non-organic version is contaminated with organophosphates that are known to be toxic to a human’s nervous system.
It also contains oxalates, so even the organic version should be avoided by people with kidney or gallbladder issues. Finally, kale is a goitrogenic food that can cause goiters in people with an unhealthy thyroid.
Summer squash is sweet, tasty, and chock full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, but it’s on the Dirty Dozen list. Much like kale, conventional summer squash is grown with organophosphate insecticides and often comes with the residue of 41 pesticides.
Most of these are known hormone disrupters, and even worse perhaps, are toxic to bees. A dying bee population threatens our entire agricultural system. Summer squash is great to eat organic for most people, but also contains oxalates and should be avoided by people with kidney or gallbladder stones.
1. Canned Vegetables
Any veggie out of a can is likely to be brimming with salt and artificial flavor enhancers. These elements alone can cause stomach upset. Most aluminum cans are also lined with a hormone disrupting chemical called BPA, which leaches into the food.
You may notice that most baby bottles and sippy cups are now labeled BPA-free, but BPA doesn’t become magically safe after toddlerhood! Avoid canned foods unless the produce inside is organic and the can is labeled as BPA-free.
Vegetables are part of a healthy diet for just about everyone, but certain people may need to limit their consumption of veggies in the nightshade and cruciferous families.
We always encourage folks to buy organic as much as possible, not only to avoid the poisonous pesticide residue, but also to support local farmers using sustainable methods.