The Nutritarian

Healthy Eating Insight

To Be, or Not to Be Organic: “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”

Written By: The Nutritarian - Aug• 12•12

That is the question.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) used the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 2000 and 2004, to produce a ranking of commonly eaten fruits & vegetables.[17]  Wikidpedia, 2012. 

The EWG lists the “Dirty Dozen” and a “Clean 15” based on pesticide tests from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA.  Remember that pesticides are designed to withstand rain, and often don’t wash off with plain water.  Using a diluted solution of vinegar can remove most residues, but some get into the plant and can’t be washed out.  Strawberries are an example of this.

This EatingWell article illustrates the best produce to buy organic, picks that are on the fence, and produce that is considered conventional and safe.

Preferably Organic
—Most Commonly Contaminated

Try to memorize the DIRTY DOZEN!

If Budget Allows, Buy Organic

Thirteen in Between

It’s Your Call
—Least Commonly Contaminated

Clean Fifteen!

  1. Apples
  2. Blueberries
  3. Celery
  4. Grapes
  5. Kale/Collard Greens
  6. Lettuce
  7. Nectarines
  8. Peaches
  9. Potatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers
  1. Bananas
  2. Cauliflower
  3. Cucumbers
  4. Cranberries
  5. Grapes – Domestic
  6. Green Beans
  7. Oranges
  8. Peppers
  9. Plums
  10. Raspberries
  11. Summer Squash
  12. Tangerines
  13. Winter Squash
  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocado
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Eggplant
  6. Grapefruit
  7. Kiwi
  8. Mangoes
  9. Mushrooms
  10. Onions
  11. Pineapples
  12. Sweet Corn
  13. Sweet Peas
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Watermelon

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