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According to many sources, growing your own food may be worth more than you think. The Pesticide Action Network North America says that a number of pesticides are associated with serious health issues such as neurological damage, birth defects, developmental and behavioral issues such as autism and ADHD and even certain types of cancer. Two of the worst offending pesticides are atrazine and dursban. Atrazine, used on corn, sugarcane and grain crops, is banned in France, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Exposure to this widely used pesticide is believed to cause cardiovascular damage, muscle spasms and adrenal gland damage, among other things. Dursban, used on apples, corn, cotton, almonds, alfalfa, oranges and walnuts, is believed to cause excessive salivation, nausea, diarrhea, headaches and convulsions. The EPA has banned most non-agricultural uses of dursban, such as in flea collars and to get rid of termites.

So the next time you shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, remember the “Dirty Dozen” list, those that test for the highest pesticide residue. They are:

*worst first

1. Peaches

2. Apples

3. Bell peppers

4. Celery

5. Nectarines

6. Strawberries

7. Cherries

8. Kale

9. Lettuce

10. Grapes (imported)

11. Carrots

12. Pears

The “Clean 15”, those with the least amount of pesticide residue are:

*best first

1. Onion

2. Avocado

3. Sweet corn

4. Pineapple

5. Mango

6. Asparagus

7. Sweet peas

8. Kiwi

9. Cabbage

10. Eggplant

11. Papaya

12. Watermelon

13. Broccoli

14. Tomato

15. Sweet potatoes

For more information on pesticides, go to For more on healthy living, go to The Greenhousequeen blog.

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