The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen refers to the fruits and vegetables that are most and least contaminated by pesticide use. Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a lists of the most and least pesticide-contaminated produce based on extensive laboratory testing. When buying produce items, it’s important to utilize The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen in order to reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides.
Organic produce can be more expensive and lot of grocery stores have limited organic produce so always remember to do your best. These guides are designed to help you so please don't think you have to avoid conventionally grown produce if that's all that's available for you.
Always remember that eating non-organic fruits and veggies is always a better option than eating processed foods.
The Dirty Dozen list is the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. Buying these foods organic can significantly cut down on pesticide exposure. Listed is produce with the most pesticide residue detected, in 2020 Dirty Dozen:
- Hot peppers
The Clean Fifteen list is foods with the least likely to contain pesticide residues. These foods can be purchased conventionally if you don’t want to buy organic all the time. Listed is produce with the least likelihood to contain pesticide residue detected, in 2020 Clean Fifteen:
- Sweet corn*
- Sweet frozen peas
- Papayas *
- Honeydew *Small amounts of sweet corn and papaya and summer squash sold in the US is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.
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