My Love of Pockets

Stuff that grows on docks (not really) part VII

I guess I have a thing for pockets. I was mining my notebook for nuggets of entertainment, humor or trivia (slim, very slim) when I came across this little bit about things I carry in my pockets (Elmo undies, sleep caps, dog poop bags, tissue).

A Pocket for Corduroy was my favorite book as a child (so glad I could solve that little mystery for you).

There are times in life when pocket space is at a particular premium, like when I travel. When Paul and I were on our 8-month, round-the-world honeymoon, my pockets were always stuffed. In hot climates I carried a sweat rag. I carried room keys, luggage locks, bits of paper with addresses and locations, translations for cab drivers, bus tickets. The most valuable tool was the compass that Paul carried. We both have a terrible sense of direction. We got very good at reading maps, retracing our steps and communicating with locals in hand gestures and puppetry when all else failed (little games of charades all over the world!). Anyway, where was I?

Yes, parenthood is another one of those times when pocket space is at a premium. There are snacks to carry and sippy cups, barrettes and beads that are pulled out of hair on long car rides. There are little toys, mini monkeys that little girls get from coin machines at diners where their daddies take them. There is lip balm for the chapped-lip types like myself. There are napkins and used bandages and some unstuck stickers in case a certain little girl uses the potty. You get the idea. There’s a lot of stuff to carry but that’s not my point. There’s another point I’m getting to here…

The most valuable pocket tool of all time: the Environmental Working Group’s list of the “dirtiest” and “cleanest” conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. The top of the list contains produce that, even when grown conventionally, doesn’t carry a heavy load of pesticides. The bottom of the list contains the most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables. You can lower your pesticide intake by 4/5ths if you avoid the conventionally-grown versions of the 12 most contaminated items on this list.

Take a look. Do you see peaches, apples, strawberries and blueberries at the bottom? Berry season is here and the peaches, the peaches are coming. Print it off. You don’t really have to carry it in your pocket but I would recommend carrying it in your purse, or your wallet, or wherever else you carry things because it’s important.

11 thoughts on “My Love of Pockets

  1. Lani

    Not Peaches! My grandson waits for Peach season so he can have a slice of my excellent Peach Pie. I dream of that pie. How sad. And cherries too…. oh my.

  2. Jenn

    I’m surprised about celery and also that tomatoes with their thin skin are higher on the list. Do you know what affects the levels? skin thickness? grown above or below ground? I wonder…

  3. marilyn

    But we can eat peaches if they are organic, right? So Lani can have peaches and cherries. My question is about some of the listings, like sweet corn (frozen). What about fresh sweet corn? Or fresh peas? I try to buy organic anyway, but using the top of the list (asparagus!!!) is really helpful. Thanks! And I just read the EWG post on sunscreens. The sunscreen moisturizer my dermatologist told me to use turns out to be really bad, according to EWG. It’s all too much to keep track of.

  4. Tami

    Blueberries! Used to be in the “clean 15”. Now part of the “dirty dozen”. What happened there? Lame.

  5. Katherine Post author

    Barb, you are such a star for posting this! I have read about how ewg evaluates the produce but his analysis is really interesting. Sounds like conventional blueberries are unlikely to be really bad for you but the percentage that is bad, is really bad. Does that make any sense?

  6. Katherine Post author

    Good questions Jenn! Here’s a link to their methodology Here’s the bullet points on how they test for contamination:
    Contamination was measured in 6 different ways:
    Percent of samples tested with detectable pesticides
    Percent of samples with two or more pesticides
    Average number of pesticides found on a single sample
    Average amount (level in parts per million) of all pesticides found
    Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample
    Total number of pesticides found on the commodity

  7. Katherine Post author

    Marilyn, I don’t think fresh vs frozen makes any difference. Sweet corn is sweet corn unless there’s something I’m missing… Sunscreen! Ugh! I need to write something about that.

  8. Jody

    Read about the blueberries and was bummed. Yes, I just try to buy all organic too and save the pesiticide consumption for eating out or what not:)

    Please do write on sunscreens….that one drives me crazy with conflicting info.

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