The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen

An advocacy non-profit group, The Environmental Working Group has updated its list of the top twelve fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides. It is important to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet and it is also equally important to eat fresh natural produce.  Unfortunately modern agribusiness has made it common practice to use pesticides to increase marketable yields.  Chemical pesticides and fertilizers have been known to cause many health issues including cancer and birth defects.  Pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable to these chemicals.  The EWG reports that if you eat 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list, you are ingesting 14 different pesticides a day.

Following is the list of top 12 foods which are most contaminated with pesticides.  You should purchase organic when possible:

The Dirty Dozen

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines (Imported)
7. Grapes (Imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries (Domestic)
11. Lettuce
12. Kale / collard greens

The EWG also listed the top 15 clean fruits and vegetables.  Many on the list have thick skins or protective coverings which naturally protect the inside from pests.  They reported that 90% of the produce tested contained no pesticides at all, and many others had tested as having only one pesticide used.

The Clean Fifteen

1. Onions
2. Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocados
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas (frozen)
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe (Domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

If it is not possible to purchase organic produce, be sure to wash your produce thoroughly. You can also reduce the residual pesticides by peeling the fruits and vegetables when possible. Buying organic allows you to eat all the natural goodness and eliminates the need to peel them. Many valuable nutrients are contained in the skins. If you must choose which produce to buy organic and which is safe to buy conventionally grown, use the list to help you.


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2 Responses to The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen

  1. barryt says:

    Bananas and Broccoli, two very popular foods, are not on either list

  2. Broccoli comes in at 25 and bananas come in at 27 on the “Dirty List” according to The Environmental Working Group.

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