Check out what produce had the highest pesticide residue and which has the lowest with the dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists, so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Each year the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases its Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen guides using data from the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The lists are often seen as controversial because it’s not clear if we really can reduce our pesticide exposure by eating organic food versus conventionally raised food.
“Residues on conventional-grown are already so minute if they’re present at all. The second thing is that this list has been shown again through peer-reviewed research to negatively impact consumers. When low-income consumers were exposed to this list and some of the messaging in the Dirty Dozen list, they stated they were less likely to purchase any produce, organic or conventional.” – Teresa Thorne, executive director of the Alliance for Food and Farming,
However, given there are known health risks from pesticide exposure some may choose to avoid it when possible. The dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists can help you choose when it’s more important.
If organic is always out of your budget eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables is much healthier than avoiding them due to possible pesticide concerns. All produce should be washed anyway, water is usually enough or you can use a simple produce wash, which can remove a lot of residues on produce.
I’m sharing these lists for those that want to avoid pesticides and have room in their budgets. Being an informed consumer is always helpful but don’t let these lists cause a lot of fear.
Dirty Dozen Foods List
These are the fruits and vegetables that tested as having the highest amount of pesticide residue. These are the ones to consider buying organic.
- Kale, Collard, & Mustard Greens
- Bell & Hot Peppers
- Green Beans
Clean Fifteen Foods List
These are the fruits and vegetables that tested as having the least amount of pesticide residue. These would be the ones to buy conventional to save some money.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Honeydew Melon
- Sweet Peas (frozen)
- Sweet Corn
Printable Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen Lists
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