How to Reduce Your Pesticide Exposure by 89% in One Week

Updated: April 25, 2022

Two open hands holding fresh strawberries

Would you like to drastically reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and pesticides, without spending a fortune?

I thought you would. That’s why a new study from RMIT University in Australia caught my eye.

Let me tell you about it.

The study revealed that eating a diet of mostly organic versus conventional foods can significantly reduce your pesticide exposure.

Now I understand this conclusion isn’t jaw-dropping. It makes sense that if you’re eating foods coated with pesticides, your exposure will be greater than someone who is not. But stick with me here because this is where the study and its results got a whole lot more interesting…

The study randomly assigned 13 adults to consume a diet of 80% organic foods for seven days and then had them switch to a “conventional” food diet for another seven days. [1]

The results showed that after one week on the 80% organic diet their urinary DAP levels were 89 percent lower! (Urinary Dialkyl Phosphates (DAPs) is a method to assess exposure to organophosphate pesticides.)

That’s a very significant decrease in such a short period of time.

But if you’re thinking that an 80% organic diet still might be unrealistic, the good news keeps coming…

Thankfully, every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list ranking fruits and vegetables by how much pesticide residue they contain. According to the EWG, entirely avoiding conventional produce from the “Dirty Dozen List” (the 12 most-contaminated fruits and vegetables) and instead choosing organic sources of these fruits and vegetables can reduce your pesticide exposure by 80 percent. [2]

Here’s the “Dirty Dozen” list — the fruits and veggies you should buy organic whenever possible:

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

My personal tip would be to check out your local grocer’s weekly flyers for features on fresh organic produce. When I see organic produce that I like, I take it as an opportunity to stock up without having to break the bank!

Do you have any grocery shopping tips and tricks? Tell me in the comments below…


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This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,
Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Dr. Carole McArthur
MD, PhD - Professor of Immunology, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City; Director of Residency Research in Pathology, Truman Medical Center.,