Why should we be buying organic kale or other organic produce?
Traditionally, kale has been known to be a hardy vegetable that doesn’t suffer from pests and disease. However, in the past few years it has been found to have high amounts of pesticide residue.
EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce calculates that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetables samples examined in 2013.
For the third year, EWG has expanded the “Dirty Dozen” with a “Plus” category to highlight two types of food that contain trace levels of highly hazardous pesticides. Kale, along with collard greens and hot peppers fall within the “Plus” category because they were found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.
In tests conducted in 2007 and 2008, USDA scientists detected 51 pesticides on kale. Several of those pesticides — chlorpyrifos, famoxadone, oxydemeton, dieldrin, DDE and esfenvalerate — are highly toxic. Although many farmers may have changed their pesticide practices since 2008, chlorpyrifos and esfenvalerate are still permitted on leafy greens. Organochlorine pesticides DDE and dieldrin were banned some years ago but persist in agricultural soils and still make their way onto leafy greens grown today.
EWG recommends that people who eat these foods buy organic instead. If you cannot find or afford organic types, cook them, because pesticides levels typically diminish when food is cooked. Luckily, organic kale is a very common vegetable an can be found very easily.
Always ask for organic produce, such as organic kale, and opt in for restaurants like The Juice Parlor in North Hollywood, California that uses only organic produce and herbs to ensure that you have the best quality, produced with the most ethical and efficient organic methods.