2011 Dirty Dozen

Environmental Working Group has put out their 2011 List of the 12 top fruits and veggies with the highest pesticide load. If you can only buy some things organic, you will want to choose these.

MAKE SURE you buy these organic:

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet Bell Peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries (domestic)
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/Collard Greens

These are the cleanest and lowest in pesticide load. If you have to buy some conventional produce, choose these:

1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapple
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet Peas
7. Mangos
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet Potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

There are two changes from the 2010 List. Added is lettuce, and moved down further on the list (no. 16) is cherries. Here is the full list (53 fruits and veggies analyzed for pesticide load.)

And HERE is a handy printable list for the grocery store. No memorizing needed.

A Closer Look: GARLIC

We are a garlic family. When we are sick, our first go-to remedy is garlic (and yes, we stink when we use it… but at least we’re not sick often!). When our son is sick, or becoming sick, we have him swallow raw crushed and minced garlic (we call it “hot honey”- we coat it in honey on a spoon and he swallows it). We have been doing this since he was 1 and it has proven to shorten the life of many colds and most times even stop them before they really start! We use it in many different medicinal ways. It is an incredibly complex and underestimated herb that the Creator God has given us for our benefit and our pleasure (after all, what would cuisine be without it?!).

Garlic is an antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan, antiviral, antifungal, anthelmintic, immune-stimulating, hypotensive, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, and a cholagogue.

Garlic is a well-known culinary herb. It is the most powerful herb for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant disease (followed by Grapefruit Seed Extract). No other herb comes close to the multiple system actions of garlic, its antibiotic activity, and its immune-potentiating power.

When the bulb is bruised or crushed, garlic produces a byproduct compound called allicin. Allicin is not in an untouched clove of garlic. The amino acid in an ordinary clove, alliin, comes into contact with an enzyme, allinase, and produces a conversion to allicin. Allicin is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. The finer the chopping and the more intensive the crushing, the more allicin is generated and the stronger the medicinal effect. Allicin starts to degrade immediately after it is produced, so its medical effectiveness decreases over time. It should be consumed within an hour of crushing.

Clinical studies have repeatedly shown that garlic is active against strains of bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics. Unlike many herbs, garlic is directly effective against viruses. Garlic is perhaps the most extensively tested herb in the world; in vitro, in vivo, and human trials have shown its powerful effectiveness against bacterial and viral infections agents.

For stimulating immune function and for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol counts, garlic works well either raw, cooked, or encapsulated. For treating active bacterial infection, garlic should be consumed either in uncooked whole form or as juice.

Raw garlic or its juice kills bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract as soon as it comes into direct contact with the organisms. When used as a douche, the garlic juice (or even a garlic clove inserted) will kill bacterial infection. When used in nose drops, the garlic covers the surface of the nasal passages and sinus and kills off infection there. When used on athlete’s foot and surface skin infections, its action is sure and rapid.

Garlic successfully treats the four strains of bacteria that cause most of the world’s dysentery. It is also effective against meningitis and viral encephalitis. Garlic activates the immune system to help protect the body from infection and when infection occurs, to stimulate the immune system to attack invading bacteria more effectively. Beyond this, it has also shown repeatable and impressive clinical results in the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, stress, fatigue and aging.

If only one herb could be used to combat an epidemic spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, this would be it.

How to take it: 

  • Fresh cloves: Eat 1 clove up to 3x a day for prevention. The cloves may be crushed, then minced, and mixed with honey for palatability and to reduce nausea.
  • Fresh juice: Juice the bulbs as needed. Take 1/4 to 1 teaspoon as needed. (Though an entire bulb produces little juice, it is exceptionally potent. The best approach is to start with 1/4 tsp. in a full glass of tomato or carrot juice and work up from there. This amount, each hour is a good way to get a large quantity of garlic juice into the system.)
  • Capsules: 3 capsules 3x a day as preventative. During acute episodes: up to 30 capsules a day. (Some practitioners feel that garlic in capsule form is as effective as fresh or juiced cloves. Others insist that it is most effective when using fresh, either raw or as juice. We prefer to use fresh- it is cheap and I am confident that it is the most potent it can be.)
  • Tincture: 40 drops up to 6x a day.
  • Food: Lots of it in everything. Increase during acute episodes.

Side Effects and Contraindications: 
Nausea, vomiting. Caution must be exercised; the quantities used should be small (repeated often) and increased only as the body shows no signs of adverse reactions (nausea). You won’t die if you take too much, but you will want to.