Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit group that is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.  Every year, they come up with a list of the 12 (+) worst produce items, as well as the 15 (+) best, in terms of pesticide residue.

From their website:

EWG analyzed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for the following popular fresh produce items.

DIRTY DOZEN CLEAN FIFTEEN
1. Strawberries 1. Sweet Corn*
2. Spinach 2. Avocados
3. Nectarines 3. Pineapples
4. Apples 4. Cabbage
5. Peaches 5. Onions
6. Pears 6. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
7. Cherries 7. Papayas*
8. Grapes  8. Asparagus
9. Celery 9. Mangos
10. Tomatoes 10. Eggplant
11. Sweet Bell Peppers 11. Honeydew Melon
12. Potatoes 12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

*Sweet corn and papaya are both GMO crops, so buy organic if you would like to avoid GMO produce.

You can view the entire list of all 48 items on their website.

These are my go-to lists when deciding whether to buy conventionally grown or organic produce.  I usually try to buy local, organic as much as possible, because in my opinion, no chemical pesticides is best, but that isn’t always an option.  If buying all organic produce isn’t an option because of availability, or because of your budget, try buying more items off the Clean Fifteen list and less of the Dirty Dozen.

Do you buy organic produce?  Do you follow these lists?  Let me know your opinions in the comments.

-Cassandra