Dr. Weil Says We Shouldn’t Buy Certain Conventionally Grown Foods. What’s The Alternative?

I’m beginning to see these parallel lists as odious. Or should I say tiered lists … organic for the privileged, conventional for everyone else.

Here’s Dr. Weil steering us away from conventionally raised fruits and vegetables. Actually, he’s more forthright than that, he says we shouldn’t buy them:

Are You Eating the Dirty Dozen?
Certain foods that are not organically grown may have more pesticide residue than others. Called the “Dirty Dozen,” find out what vegetables and fruits they are – and avoid buying them when conventionally grown.

Eating fresh produce is the best way to obtain the nutrients that support optimum health, but the pesticides used on many crops remain a major health concern. By choosing organic foods, you can reap the health benefits of fruits and vegetables without exposing yourself and your family to potentially harmful chemicals. Pesticides present real health risks, particularly to children and those with health concerns. The toxicity most commonly associated with pesticides in animal studies include disruptions in the normal functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems, as well as increased risks of cancer.

EWGDirtyDozen2015aAs part of my support of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and their recently updated Shopper’s Guide, I am presenting the newest “Dirty Dozen” list – produce you should buy only in organically grown form. According to EWG, common growing practices make the crops listed below the most likely to contain higher pesticide residues:

Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cherry tomatoes
Snap peas (imported)

Plus these which may contain organophosphate insecticides, which EWG characterizes as “highly toxic” and of special concern:

Hot peppers
Blueberries (domestic)

What do people do when they can’t buy organic? Dr. Weil says we shouldn’t buy conventional. But what’s the alternative? Really … what do we buy instead? Dr. Weil? There are people who absolutely have no choice, people who receive their meals from care homes, schools, hospitals, prisons, or other institutions. There are free-living people who also don’t have a choice, people who live where organic foods aren’t sold, people who can’t afford the price differential, people who lack transportation.

As I have discovered, bread made from conventionally grown wheat can have more pesticide residues in it than washed produce. So can mustard. And what happens when we feed our livestock GMO corn and soy that has been heavily sprayed? Do the chemicals not deposit themselves in the flesh of the animal? As I’ve discovered, they do. It’s not just fresh produce we need to be concerned about, it’s all food.

I know I’m being idealistic saying this, but, here goes … We need to stop creating these niche organic markets (Just how organic is “organic” anyway? Organic Food Is Grown With Manure From Factory Farms, Synthetic Pesticides) We need to get these chemicals out of all food, everone’s food.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Weil Says We Shouldn’t Buy Certain Conventionally Grown Foods. What’s The Alternative?

  1. Melinda

    I don’t think of it this way: “tiered lists … organic for the privileged, conventional for everyone else.” It’s not fair to cite that list and not cite the corresponding EWG/Weil “Clean 15”– conventionally grown produce with minimal amounts of pesticide and herbicide residues. Some, like cabbage, are quite cheap. And some, like sweet potatoes, are quite nutritionally dense. See here. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02984/Foods-You-Dont-Have-to-Buy-Organic.html.

    There are a larger number of conventionally grown foods that are safe to eat (15) than the so-called “Dirty Dozen.” It’s easy to go to a store and buy the conventionally grown Clean 15. I buy them and feel safe enough. And then there are things I buy organic (or better, grow myself at home, like strawberries). And when I say grow at home, we only have 1/10th of an acre total, including the house, and only half of the non-house land gets sun. So we’re talking about ~1/40th of an acre. But I still can grow tomatoes, strawberries, kale, collards, kohlrabi, herbs, potatoes, winter and summer squash, wonderful cukes (the long English kind that are easier to grow than ours are), arugula, daylilies (edible) and other edible flowers that go nicely in salads (e.g., nasturtiums) , dandelion greens (incredibly good for you and tasty), borage (edible flower), sweet & hot peppers. Earlier I had a lot of lettuces, and while they’ve bolted now in the heat, the goldfinches love their seeds (I like to make my yard a haven for birds, a la St. Francis), and what the goldfinches don’t eat will fall to the ground and regrow. And *I* control the inputs, so I know there are no pesticides, gmo manure, etc.–all the bad things you associate with organic food.


    1. Bix Post author

      If you don’t think it’s fair, don’t tell me, tell the source. It’s not my list. It’s not my post. It’s not me saying no one should eat conventionally raised potatoes, apples, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, kale, strawberries, etc. In fact, I think people should eat them! Eating a conventionally-raised potato is better than not eating a potato at all! If this doesn’t constitute a message for the privileged, I don’t know what does.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s