Organic or Conventional: the 2013 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

Organic or Conventional: the 2013 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

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Exposure to pesticides in foods has been linked to many health conditions including cancer.  After all, it makes sense that we put both into our bodies and on our bodies affect our bodies.  To help guide consumers on what produce they should really try to buy organic (grown without the use of pesticides), the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization, has released its annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.  This guide does change slightly from year to year.

 

The Dirty Dozen includes the 12 most pesticide-laden foods.  When choosing fruits & veggies listed on the Dirty Dozen (see below for list), try to buy ORGANIC.

2013 Dirty Dozen List

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Hot peppers

*Kale, collard greens and summer squash should also be purchased as organic.  Click here for more info on why EWG recommends this*

 

The Clean 15 include the 15 least pesticide-laden foods.  If the fruit or veggie is listed on the Clean 15, it’s ok to buy it as non-organic or conventional.

2013 Clean 15 list

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Sweet potatoes
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Grapefruit
  5. Kiwi
  6. Eggplant
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Sweet peas – frozen
  11. Cabbage
  12. Avocados
  13. Pineapple
  14. Onions
  15. Corn

 

*  Keep in mind that the information above is based on produce bought at supermarkets. If you shop at farmers markets, ask about their growing practices. Even if what they sell isn’t certified organic, many local farmers use as few pesticides as possible, making the foods on the Dirty Dozen become good choices, even if they aren’t certified organic.

 

*  The EWG also maintains that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.  So it’s better to eat conventionally-grown produce than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

 

*  You can download the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce app on your smart phone using these links:  for Android phone; for iPhone or iPad; for Windows phone.   

 

 



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