The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15: Picking Your Produce


Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

Hello fellow foodies! I know as well as anyone that buying organic can be a costly affair.  But, if you are in any way concerned about nutrition, health or sustainable foods, then organic is well worth the cost. The Environmental Working Group (EWG)  has compiled a list of produce containing the greatest amount of pesticide residues from conventional growing methods called the “Dirty Dozen.” It is recommended that the produce on this list be bought organic.

The EWG’s 2012 Dirty Dozen:

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries
  12. Potatoes

The EWG also compiled a list of produce lowest in pesticide residues called the “Clean 15.”

The EWG’s 2012 Clean 15:

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Sweet Potatoes
  13. Grape Fruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

All this talk of pesticides may seem a bit scary, but there is no cause for alarm. Pesticide residue on produce is regulated by the EPA, and set at levels posing at most a “reasonable certainty of no harm.”  By following these lists, buying organically-grown produce can become less of a burden and more cost-effective.



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