The updated dirty dozen, new clean 15
The Environmental Working Group has updated its list of the most pesticide contaminated produce notoriously known as the “Dirty Dozen.” They’ve also put together a list of the “Clean 15,” which are the least contaminated fruits and veggies. The idea behind the lists is to give shoppers an idea of where they might want to spend their dollars for organic purchases.
A few items have moved around in position on the list like apples and celery. Apples now top the list due to the amount of fungicides and pesticides being applied after harvest to extend the produce’s shelf life. EWG notes that as a category, “peaches have been treated with more pesticides than any other produce, registering combinations of up to 57 different chemicals. Apples were next, with 56 pesticides and raspberries with 51.” Find out more about their report, including a look at the entire list of the 53 fruits and veggies tested, at the website below or by calling 202–667-6982.
The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which you can download and print a pocket version of for yourself at ewg.org/foodnews/, is meant to help you reduce your pesticide exposure as much as possible. The group estimates that individuals can reduce their exposure by 80 percent if they switch to organic when buying these 12 foods. However, EWG stresses that eating conventionally-grown produce (non-organic) is still better than eating none at all. The report clearly states: “The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.”
Thanks to reader Sophie H. for calling my attention to the new and updated lists.
The Dirty Dozen
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
10. Blueberries (domestic)
12. Kale/collard greens
The Clean 15
6. Sweet peas
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
13. Sweet potatoes
Tuesday Trippier lives in Delaware, is a writer and mother of three, soon to be four, with a special interest in learning about green living.