Better frozen?

Why would frozen sweet corn and sweet peas be any cleaner from pesticides (β€œWhy Go Organic?” September 2008) than fresh or canned sweet corn and sweet peas?
-Anne E. Berry, via email

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiles lists of the most and least pesticide-laden produce based on what is most widely available in markets year-round, says Jovana Ruzicic, a spokesperson for the organization. The EWG considers frozen sweet corn and sweet peas among the cleanest not because frozen has fewer pesticides than fresh, but because those particular items are available fresh for only an extremely limited time during the year. For the Dirty Dozen and Cleanest 12 lists, go to and enter is your produce packing pesticides? into the search box.

Nitrate no-no

You often advise against eating nitrate-preserved meats, such as pepperoni. What do you know about natural lunch meats that contain nitrates derived from natural vegetable sources? Are they still carcinogenic?
-Stephanie Prinster, via email

This is a terrific question without a conclusive answer. β€œIn the absence of any data to suggest otherwise, I tend to think that there really isn't any difference between natural sources of nitrates versus the sodium nitrate added as a preservative,” says Delicious Living's medical editor, Robert Rountree, MD. For details on this issue, visit the discussion on our Healthy Eating forum at http://community.delicious livingmag/fusetalk.

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