HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Kale is now one of the most contaminated vegetables, rejoining the Dirty Dozen List this year. The Dirty Dozen List refers to fruits and vegetables that are so contaminated with pesticides and herbicides, that it is recommended that consumers purchase these produce items organic.
"The reason behind this list is that there are so many pesticides and herbicides being pumped into our crops," says Krystal Hammett, founder of Alternative Wellness Solutions. "It's in the soil, it's saturating into the surface of our fruits and vegetables, so you have to protect yourself."
The long-term effects of ingesting these harmful substances can be deadly.
"They're known carcinogens, they can cause a host of health issues," Hammett says. "There are so many studies that it's not just speculated, it's proven."
Organic or not, all produce should be thoroughly washed before eating or cooking. In addition to chemical contamination, fruits and vegetables are covered in germs they've picked up during transport, so it's important to cleanse them properly before consumption.
A few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in water is a natural way to scrub your produce clean, even organic items, which still have some pesticides.
Ultimately, fruits and vegetables are crucial to our health, and items on the Dirty Dozen List shouldn't be ignored, just find the right source and clean them well.
2019 Dirty Dozen List:
2019 Clean 15 List
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas Frozen
- Honeydew Melons