We have seen the popularity of organic produce rise dramatically in recent years. However, unbeknownst to many shoppers, we don’t have to buy all produce organic. If you can, great. But, the only foods that really should be bought organic as much as possible are referred to as the “dirty dozen.” We have all learned about the dirty dozen in our biology class. It refers to the fruits and vegetables that get contaminated the most by pesticide use.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a watchdog organization based out of Washington D.C released its annual list on Tuesday in efforts to aid consumers in reducing pesticide contaminated produce from their diets.
The Dirty Dozen:
1. Apples- the fourth year in a row that Apples ranked number one with the most residue of pesticides
3. Grapes- a single grape tested positive of fifteen different pesticides!
7. Sweet bell peppers
10. Cherry tomatoes
11. Potatoes- the report found that potatoes had more pesticides by weight than any other single food
12. Snap peas
*Single Samples of Celery, Strawberries, Snap peas, and cherry tomatoes tested positive for up to thirteen different pesticides!
*The report also cautions consumers who consume Kale, Spinach, and hot peppers. It was found that they frequently contain residue of insecticides that are particularly harmful to human health if consumed.
The Clean Fifteen:
5. Frozen sweet peas
15. Sweet Potatoes
*No item on the clean fifteen list tested positive for more than four pesticides.
Buy organic whenever you can for the items on the dirty dozen list. The difference in price does not appear to be as much, with your health in mind. To cut down on cost, visit farmers markets and try to buy in bulk whenever possible.