Nearly 70% of non-organic products sold in the United States contain pesticide residues, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Each year, the EWG ranks the level of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables based on samples taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration, and publishes the results in the Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
Included in the report is a list of the most pesticide-colored products, called "Dirty Dozen." For 2021, the following was on this list:
- Kale, collard and mustard vegetables
- ] Bell and hot peppers
In addition to the dirty dozen, EWG publishes "Clean Fifteen" and highlights the "cleanest" products. In 2021
What can you do?
Most Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables daily. Don't let Dirty Dozen scare you away from eating fruits and vegetables – all properly handled fresh produce, whether organic or not, is believed to be safe to eat.
To remove any pesticide residues, simply wash your fresh produce under running tap water for 30 seconds. If you are still worried about pesticides, buy the frozen or canned versions of your favorite products as an alternative. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious for you, so find what works best for your household.
If you have any further questions, ask your doctor.
One of the best ways to celebrate summer is to get out and enjoy good food with friends and family. As COVID-19 cases decrease, COVID-19 vaccination rates increase, and states relax their COVID-19 restrictions, picnics and barbecues are likely to be a staple this year.
If you are not careful about handling food during these cookouts, you risk yourself and others for potential food-related illnesses. Stay safe with these simple tips:
- Wash cooking utensils, dishes and kitchen utensils between different uses. Be sure to clean the grill surface after each use and wash cutting boards with raw meat.
- Store all perishable products in a cooler with ice on top, not just below. Use one cooler for drinks and another for food. Never eat anything that has been left in the refrigerator or cooler for more than two hours.
- Invest in a meat thermometer so that you can ensure that all meat is cooked to the correct internal temperature.
Warmer temperatures require extra attention. for food safety when cooking and eating outdoors. Visit FoodSafey.gov to learn more about food safety practices.
You may detect pathogenic bacteria in your home if you regularly keep your shoes inside. Research has shown that the outside of your shoes can be carriers of viruses and bacteria, including E. coli.
Although this level of contamination is a low health risk for most healthy adults, you can reduce the unnecessary spread of bacteria in your living space by:
- Take off your shoes at the door
- Wash your hands immediately if you remove your shoes with your hands
- Cleaning your shoes according to the manufacturer's instructions
In general, whether it is your home or someone else's place, it is important to remove shoes if there are small children crawling on the floor or people in the home whose immune system is compromised. When in doubt, ask the landlord if you should take off your shoes.
We all here at CoverLink wish you continued health and safety this year!