The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

This will be a quick little post. Normally I’d just tweet and Facebook something like this, but I think it’s important so I want to make sure everyone sees it. The Environmental Working Group has just posted their ‘2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce’ which is summarized here. In their own words:

The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing the least contaminated produce.

Here’s the complete list.

The dirt dozen are:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines – imported
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry Tomatoes
  12. Hot Peppers

The clean fifteen are:

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Onions
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocados
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet Peas Frozen
  7. Papayas
  8. Mangoes
  9. Asparagus
  10. Eggplant
  11. Kiki
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Sweet Potatoes
  15. Mushrooms

When shopping for produce you can stretch your “organic” dollars by using them on the dirty dozen and saving your green for the clean fifteen.

Note that the EWG compiles this list by scrutinizing data gathered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA, therefore it’s accurate for the United States, but I’m not sure if it applies across the globe.


8 thoughts on “The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

    • Thanks! I’d seen this list before last year as well, but also didn’t realize where it came from. I agree it’s nice to know there is some real data behind it.

  1. Just a head’s up: they now have GM sweet corn and most papayas are GM. They may not require a lot of pesticides, but you are still better off buying those organic. Kind of a bummer.

  2. Pingback: Best of the blogs - The Artisanal Economist

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