Should We Trust the Dirty Dozen?
Credit: Morguefile photo by SQUAIO

The Dirty Dozen is a list of conventionally farmed produce found to contain the highest amount of pesticide residue. Published by the Environmental Working Group, it is updated yearly.

Many health-conscious consumers use this list as a shopping guide, when deciding whether to  buy organic fruits and vegetables. Some people buy organic versions of the foods that top this list, in hopes of putting only the "safest" choices into their shopping carts.

I once used this list myself, and, in some of my earlier articles, I've even recommended people on a tight budget refer to the Dirty Dozen if they can't afford a totally organic diet.

However, I'm starting to wonder if this annual publication may be misleading. That's because the pesticides and herbicides sprayed on food cannot be removed, even with vigorous cleaning. These toxic chemicals penetrate the soil and are absorbed by the plant. They then become part of its composition. No amount of washing can change this fact.

There's also evidence that modern farming practices are dangerous to our health, and may even be contributing to the cancer epidemic. Chemical fertilizers do not contain the correct proportions of minerals found in healthy soil.

As a result, they yield unhealthy plants. People who ingest these unhealthy plants then develop the same mineral imbalances, according to one Hungarian researcher, who devoted much of his life to studying this phenomenon.

Also, conventionally grown produce does not contain as many vitamins and other anti-oxidants as organic varieties.

So even though pesticide residue is one health risk we need to worry about, it also appears there are others as well. Avoiding foods from the Dirty Dozen isn't going to eliminate these problems.

It's More than Just Pesticide Residue
Credit: Morguefile photo by frenchbyte

The Findings of Dr. Jozsef Beres

Sometime after World War II, farmers in Hungary began to change the way they grew food. New, chemical-based fertilizers had come onto the market. These eliminated the need for time-intensive composting or the use of smelly materials, such as manure. At the time, it seemed like progress.

However, shortly after the introduction of these new fertilizers, the cancer rates in Hungary began to climb. Until then, this disease had been fairly uncommon.

The first to make the possible connection between malignancy and commercial fertilizers was a man named Dr. Jozsef Beres, PhD. He noticed that potatoes grown with modern farming techniques looked healthy. However, they apparently had a weak link, as they demonstrated decreased resistance to disease.

Dr. Beres theorized these crops became sickly because they had a mineral imbalance, due to chemical fertilizers, which lack all of the naturally occurring micro-nutrients present in healthy soil. This led him to conclude that humans who ingested these crops also developed nutritional deficiencies.

Beres Drops to the Rescue

Expanding upon his theory, Dr. Beres developed a line of mineral drops that replicate the nutrients once found in the now depleted soil. Despite the fact he was persecuted by government health authorities, he distributed his drops free of charge to cancer patients.

Oftentimes, especially if these drops were given early in the course of the illness, the disease could be reversed.

His fame spread throughout the continent, and his supplemental minerals then became known as "Beres Drops." Many Europeans still take them today, as a dietary aid and in an effort to prevent cancer.

These drops are widely available in Europe and are also sold on Amazon. They are manufactured in a plant run by relatives of the late Dr. Beres, who died in 2006.

Organic Food Contains Cancer-Fighting Compounds

Spraying crops with herbicides and pesticides has a negative health effect that's not limited to the residue from these chemicals. That's because plants have built-in devices designed to combat pests and crop disease. Plants naturally produce large amounts of resveratrol that defend them against dangerous microbes.

However, they stop producing this and other similar compounds when sprayed with pesticides. Resveratrol has been found to have powerful health benefits. Eating conventionally grown produce means that we miss out on ingesting this nutrient, which is known to curb the process of inflammation. Many health experts, especially those with a more alternative mind set, consider inflammation the root cause of all disease.

In various studies, organic food has also been shown to contain more vitamins than conventionally grown produce.



The information presented in this article is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute as medical advice. People with health concerns should discuss them with a licensed professional.