Ever heard of the “Dirty Dozen”?
If not, it’s a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization specializing in research and advocacy related to public health and the environment, recently released its “Dirty Dozen” list for 2011.
Here’s the 2011 list:
The “Dirty Dozen”
- Nectarines (imported)
- Grapes (imported)
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Blueberries (domestic)
- Kale/Collard Greens
The EWG’s 2011 report, based on an analysis of tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), states the “Dirty Dozen” consistently contained the highest amounts of pesticides when non-organically (i.e. conventionally) grown and should, therefore, be consumed in organic form when/if possible.
Now, just in case you’re thinking you have to go full-bore organic so as not to over-expose yourself to harmful pesticides, the EWG also posted the “Clean 15” which is a list of 15 fruits and vegetables that typically contain the least amount of pesticides.
The “Clean 15” are as follows:
The “Clean 15”
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas (awww)
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet Potatoes
I think these lists offer a good guideline for what fruits and vegetables to focus on when — or if — buying organic. Organic produce typically carries a higher price tag and isn’t available in all areas, so the EWG”s lists provide a great starting point for the consumer to limit exposure to pesticides while staying within reason.
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