GREAT TIP > Here’s the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides … which fruit & veggies are pesticide ridden and which are the cleanest? Find out here!

The 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just been published!  We’ll try to explain what the EWG calls the Dirty Dozen™ which are the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables in a grocery store in addition to the Clean Fifteen™ which include the 15 healthiest produce products you can find.  The 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ by the EWG is a perfect way for you to avoid unhealthy produce while taking advantage of the healthiest ones during your grocery shopping visit.

Obviously, it is important to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your clean eating diet.  And most of us understand that many of these produce products are exposed to numerous insecticides and pesticides that are detrimental to our health.  The EWG 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ is an easy guide for anyone to follow when it comes to selecting foods that will give us the best nutrients while limiting the negative effects of contaminants.  Although the Environmental Protection Agency has tried to restrict the use of some pesticides and chemicals on our crops because of their toxicity and direct/indirect links to health conditions in humans, many of these pesticides are still detected on foods that we think are absolutely safe.  One thing to note is that even if the Environmental Protection Agency bans certain pesticides and chemicals, there will still be residual amounts of contaminants on our food for years to come.  As with last year, the EWG 2013 Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides™ includes 2 main lists (Dirty Dozen™  and Clean Fifteen™) plus other pertinent details.


Here is the 2013 Dirty DozenTM on the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™:

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry Tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Hot Peppers
  7. Nectarines – imported
  8. Peaches
  9. Potatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

The 2013 Dirty Dozen™ on the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ includes the fresh produce that is the most UNHEALTHY for human consumption.  This is because the Dirty Dozen™ on the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ includes the most CONTAMINATED vegetables and fruits found on our grocery store shelves. This means that the Dirty Dozen™ has the most pesticides, chemicals and other contaminants and should only be eaten in MODERATION and only have rigorous washing.  They are laced with chemicals that are detrimental to our health and well being.  It is especially important for parents of small children, as these pesticides and residual chemicals can adversely affect a child’s health for years to come.

* Also note that the 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ also includes the PLUS List.  According to the EWG, the PLUS category highlights two crops – domestically-grown summer squash and leafy greens, specifically kale and collards. These PLUS crops did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen™ criteria but were commonly contaminated with pesticides EXCEPTIONALLY TOXIC to the nervous system.  So watch out for these two!

Here is the 2013 Clean Fifteen™ on the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Sweet corn
  6. Eggplant
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Onions
  12. Papayas
  13. Pineapples
  14. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  15. Sweet Potatoes

The 2013 Clean Fifteen™ is the LEAST CONTAMINATED and therefore healthiest vegetables and fruits you can find at your local grocery store.  This means that the Clean Fifteen™ contains the LEAST amount of pesticides and chemicals. Go Clean Fifteen™.

The EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ also talks about 3 other important issues surrounding the lists.

Firstly, organic produce will always contain little or no pesticides or chemicals and is therefore healthier than traditional cultivated produce.

Secondly, genetically modified produce (or GMOs as they are commonly referred as) are not usually found in the fresh produce section of a grocery store.  This is because the genetically modified seeds are used in processed foods that are usually in the packaged foods section.  The genetically modified GMO foods are also found in animal feed and biofuels.  Two of these such genetically modified foods that appear in almost everything and anything processed are CORN and SOY. Therefore, many GMOs are not listed in the Clean Fifteen™ nor the Dirty Dozen™ on the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™.

Lastly, some genetically modified crops make it to the produce section.  A small percentage of sweet corn and zucchini are GMO but most Hawaiian papaya is a GMO.  Because the United States law does NOT require labeling of GMO produce, a consumer can’t easily tell if they are buying a GMO or non-GMO product.  Therefore, always go with the ‘organic’ choice wherever possible.

More information about the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce lists are online here.

NEWS > Huh? The United States APPROVES more pesticides that cause mass bee deaths BUT the EU BANS these same chemicals

As soon as we read the news headlines here at Just Add Good Stuff, we just couldn’t believe it.  We honestly though it was a late April Fool’s joke.  As the latest reports came out in regards to the mass bee deaths (especially the large scale deaths of honeybees – also known as the Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD) in the world that were directly linked to new crop pesticides and chemicals being delivered to our foods, the public is questioning not only the safety of our food, but also its adverse affects on our complete food chain.


UPDATE: Check out MORE THAN HONEY documentary by Markus Imhoof that was released June 2013.  Watch the trailer here -or- visit the website here. Synopsis: Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (THE BOAT IS FULL) tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite macro-photography of the bees (reminiscent of MICROCOSMOS), in flight and in their hives, reveals a fascinating and complex world in crisis.


honey bee feature


For those of us with children, grand children and even great grand children, it’s horrifying to hear about the mass bee deaths and large scale deaths of honeybees reported over four continents in the past few years.  The mass bee deaths are NOT a natural phenomenon, but the global mass bee deaths have been linked DIRECTLY to wide spread use of pesticides and chemicals passed by our own health and agriculture agencies.  These are the same organizations who are suppose to protect the environment and protect our health.  Huh?  What happened?

As mentioned across most news sources, a 2013 report by the United States Department of Agriculture highlights the continuing large scale deaths of honeybees, which are critical to our food chain.  Many environmental groups and the general public are baffled by why and how the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to APPROVE new pesticides that are HIGHLY TOXIC to honeybees.  These same pesticides are linked to what is commonly referred to as the Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD and a “honeybee pollination crisis” around the world.

The Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder or the mass bee deaths around  the United States alone would highly strain OVER 100 CROPS worth over $200 BILLION GLOBALLY PER YEAR!

The vegetables and fruits that are most susceptible to the global mass bee death caused by the Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder would be, APPLES, PLUMS, AVOCADOS AND ZUCCHINIS.

Other secondary crops affected by the mass bee deaths caused by CCD or Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder includes ORANGES, CUCUMBERS, AND OTHER FLOWERING FRUIT TYPES.  These crops are worth even more than the $200 billion globally per year quoted above!




A new USDA (US Department of Agriculture) Report talks about the massive decline of honeybee colonies that is a cause for alarm.  The long term issue is now at a critical stage and is close to being non-reversible if the problem is left too long.  The USDA Report on the massive decline of honeybee colonies does not provide any immediate solutions nor does it explain any direct link.  Here are more facts and figures from the USDA Report on the decline of honeybee colonies in the United States:

In 1947, there were approximately 6 million honeybee colonies in the US.  By 1990, the honeybee colonies plummeted to 3 million in the United States. And by 2013, the honeybee colonies now stand at only 2.5 million in the US.

Commercial honey bee colonies would expect to lose about 10-15% per year, but in the past 5 years (ever since neonicotinoid pesticides have been more prevalent in crops), they have declined dramatically from 28-33% PER YEAR!

The USDA Report cites “multiple factors … including parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition, drought/environmental factors  and pesticide exposure” as contributing factors to the  massive decline in honeybee colonies in the US.

Local activists and environmentalists believe that the main factor causing the Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD are highly toxic chemicals and crop pesticides.  Beyond Pesticides, which is one such group, seems convinced that the insecticide SULFOXAFLOR is directly responsible for the honey bee colony collapse in the United States.  The EPA or Environmental Protection Agency just passed the use of the SULFOXAFLOR pesticide for use on all crops … which many people believe is highly toxic to honey bees.





Hmmm … something doesn’t sit well when there is a discrepancy between how global environmental protection agencies have different views on pesticides and chemicals used in our daily lives.  Just in April 2013, the EU BANNED the use of ALL NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES which includes SULFOXAFLOR which is a “4th generation neonicotinoid”.   This was in the wake of the declining honeybee populations in the European Union member countries.  The 2 year moratorium on NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES including SULFOXAFLOR will be used to study its effects on the honeybee population as well as to learn more about the Colony Collapse Disorder that is currently affecting the EU as well.  Here are more facts and figures:

The Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD mass bee deaths have been happening in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands.

The European Food Safety Agency has stated that the neonicotinoid pesticides pose an “unacceptable risk to bees and their use should be restricted” at all costs.

The EFSA also mentions that “habitat loss and pathogens, a growing body of science points to neonicotinoid pesticides as a key contributing factor in drastically declining bee populations”.

Obviously, major pesticide manufacturers disagree with the two year EU ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and sulfoxaflor which was recently approved in the US for use on crops.  Both Bayer CropScience and Monsanto have scoffed at these findings and even questioned the decline of honeybee populations throughout the world.

The USDA and EPA believe that more research needs to be conducted in order to understand this Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder.  Furthermore, they believe that the research and analysis must be done in a “very slow review of the evidence”.  They currently believe that the honey bee population decline in the US is due to a parasitic mite called Varroa destructor, a bacterial disease called European foulbrood in addition to the use of pesticides including neonicotinoids which is a neuroactive chemical.  However, the USDA and EPA are not directly linking neonicotinoids to the problem of the US Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder.

The USDA report and EPA review will take at least an additional 5 years.  As of early 2013, the US honeybee population is not at a 50 year low.


What do you think about the approval of SULFOXAFLOR in the US while the same chemical pesticides have been banned in the EU?  Please sound off and give us your opinion and COMMENT BELOW!


More information about the honey bee colony collapse world wide here:


Reversing the collapse of the honey bee industry from CBC (Canada)

The European Union has banned an insecticide they believe is killing off honey bees. Some Canadians are calling for a ban too. But many farmers say the science isn’t in yet so don’t make them stop using a chemical that’s so important for protecting their crops.



The Plight of the Honeybee from National Geographic

Bees are back in the news this spring, if not back in fields pollinating this summer’s crops. The European Union (EU) has announced that it will ban, for two years, the use of neonicotinoids, the much-maligned pesticide group often fingered in honeybee declines. The U.S. hasn’t followed suit, though this year a group of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups sued the EPA for not doing enough to protect bees from the pesticide onslaught.


US approves new pesticides linked to mass bee deaths as EU enacts ban from RT

In the wake of a massive US Department of Agriculture report highlighting the continuing large-scale death of honeybees, environmental groups are left wondering why the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to approve a “highly toxic” new pesticide.


Third of US honey bees killed last winter, threatening food supply from Wired

Nearly one in three commercial honeybee colonies in the United States died or disappeared last winter, an unsustainable decline that threatens the nation’s food supply.


Mass honeybee deaths linked to insecticides from the CBC

In an effort to reduce health risks to honeybees, Ontario’s agriculture ministry is asking grain farmers to take extra care when planting crops this spring. A Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs entomologist said that “virtually all corn seed” is treated with a neonicotinoid insecticide, which could pose a threat to the health of honey bees. Tracey Baute said “neonicotinoid contaminated dust” is eventually carried into the air and could be linked to the death of thousands of bees.


Basic Honey Bee Facts

Honey bees receive more attention than any other insect, but they are one of the most important to our biological system. Find out what a honey bee is and why colony collapse disorder is threatening their population and our food supply.


What do you think about the approval of SULFOXAFLOR in the US while the same chemical pesticides have been banned in the EU? Please sound off and give us your opinion and COMMENT BELOW!