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  • Did You Know?
    Three new studies confirm that exposures to common insecticides during pregnancy can cut a child’s IQ 4% to 7%  by age 9.
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Chopped salad with feta cheese dressing

Sep 10, 2014

Here’s a refreshing chopped salad that can be served as a side to any meal or can hold its own as an easy and delicious main course. When choosing lettuce for your salad, it’s important to make sure you choose organic.


The Research

A recent study found that conventional head lettuce has higher levels of commonly used insecticide residues than other vegetables. Insecticides are regularly used on leafy vegetables including lettuce, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and broccoli to combat common pests such as aphids and moths. When cabbage, head lettuce and Chinese broccoli were treated with the same combination and quantity of insecticides, researchers found that the chemicals applied to head lettuce dissipated slower than they did from the other vegetables. This phenomenon was explained by the difference in leaf shape and size. Even more startling is that in a second trial, researchers applied a lower dose of insecticides to head lettuce and a higher dose to Chinese broccoli, and, they continued to find more chemical residues on the head lettuce. Avoid unnecessary exposure to pesticides.  When you think leafy greens, think organic!


Photo credit: Amy Stephenson

Photo credit: Amy Stephenson

The Recipe

Makes about 6 servings


The Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup of feta cheese
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The Salad:

  • 1 small to medium head of lettuce chopped (~8 cups)
  • 2 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 can of chick peas
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1/2  cup of Kalamata olives
  • 3 slices of fried bacon chopped (optional)


Blend all of the salad dressing ingredients in a small food processor. Combine salad ingredients.  Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.

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