Thursday, November 8, 2012

Israeli Produce (Important Pesticide Residue Info)

Conventionally grown produce usually has pesticide residue. For the first time, an Israeli organization has ranked local produce. (Thanks to the Israeli Union for Environmental Defense for making this information available to the public!) Below you'll see the list, and my translation! Take them to the store with you so you can be a more informed shopper. You can significantly reduce your exposure to pesticides (and this article explains that so many pesticides (36!) used in Israel are banned in other parts of the world) by focusing on the foods on the "clean" list, and avoiding those on the dirty list. I know this will make a big difference for us!

Here are the "Dirtiest" Fifteen:

Citrus fruit
Baby Lettuce Mix

The Ten Cleanest:

Sweet Potato

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  1. Scary stuff. But are they dong anything to change it?

    1. Two things: 1) if consumers speak with their pocketbooks, things will change. The negative publicity can make a big difference. In the U.S., the clean and dirty list really has made changes, and you see some things moving off the dirty list as the agricultural community realizes just how damaging the negative publicity is.
      2) I read somewhere that 30 pesticides that are banned elsewhere will be banned here next year. I truly hope so...

  2. Replies
    1. Anne, I tried feeding my family mostly organic food when we first made aliyah. It was just not sustainable. One would have to have a very high income to do that for a family. For one or two people it is probably doable in some cases. Not on a strict, frugal budget though...

  3. Uch, I buy nearly nothing on the clean list on a regular basis other than onions.

    1. Penny, I know. I have the same issue, just about. Well, it is worth knowing and seeing if something can be changed, isn't it?

  4. What about gush katif vegetables. I know that recently they have been exposed to have especially high levels if pesticides, but there are some brands of "bug free" vegetables that are grown hydroponically in greenhouses. Wouldn't pesticide levels be lower in those cases?

    1. Rachel, I have no idea how they rank, I'm sorry.

    2. I think it's more than just a problem of pesticide residue. When the pesticides get into the soil then the plants take them up so pesticides can be found inside the produce as well. Can't wash that off! Organic produce is expensive. I think that even if we just buy one or two types of organic fruits or vegetables we are reducing the toxic load in our bodies. I don't think it has to be all or nothing. You're right "if consumers speak with their pocketbooks, things will change" so whatever each of us can financially incorporate into our budgets, the better it will ultimately be for all of us. I think the list is a good start - it calls our (and the producers') attention to this problem.

    3. Yes, some pesticides are found inside, it's still called "residue". Some break down when exposed to heat. But I do believe that if we all make a few changes - I plan to use a LOT fewer potatoes from now on, so I can buy a bag of organic ones once in a while, for example - it can make a big difference on our health and on the growers' desires to do better.

  5. the worst fifteen are the basic fruit and vegetables that evryone buys. Is anything being done abouit it. It is about time that a consumers council is formed in Israel to moniter food in the shops. also what about stuff inported into Israel like fish and meat.

  6. Isidore, some of those fifteen are indeed basics. The best we can do is speak with our wallets and buy less of them until there is a change. Are you in?!
    I know there are major problems with fish imports, but unfortunately I cannot comment about meat, as I really don't buy any meat aside from chicken.

  7. Replies
    1. Tara, this list is from 2012. It's been really hard to get updates - I'm not sure why. Please follow me on Facebook that, and when I get an update you won't miss it!


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