Friday, 7 May 2010

What are the Dirty Dozen?

Researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization in Washington D.C., just came out with their new "dirty dozen" list of fruits and vegetables- the fruits and vegetables that have highest, and lowest, levels of pesticides.

Organic farming doesn't use pesticides and fertilizers, so it's the better choice for the environment, and for our heath. However, buying organic can be more expensive.

If you can only buy a few organic fruits and vegetables, choose from the dirty dozen list- according to EWG, this can help reduce pesticide exposure by up to 80%.

The Dirty Dozen
(starting with the worst)

1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Apples
5. Blueberries
6. Nectarines
7. Bell peppers
8. Spinach
9. Kale
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes (imported)

Clean 15 (the lowest in pesticides- starting with the best)

1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Cantaloupe
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet Potato
15. Honeydew Melon

The list isn't much different from last year's.

Click here for a PDF version of the shopping list.

To minimize consumption of pesticides, EWG reminds you to eat a varied diet, rinse all your produce and buy organic as much as possible.

*It should be noted that the group only refers to pesticides on the produce (and therefore ingested) and not the total quantity of pesticides used in agriculture. For example, corn falls in the "clean" list but non-organic corn farming may use a large amount of pesticides... Something that is important to consider from an environmental standpoint.


Mushrooms Canada said...

Farm grown Canadian mushrooms are a great food that should be added to the "Clean" list. In fact, today's mushroom farmers use little to no pesticides in the everyday farming of mushrooms.

Gina said...

I always try to buy these foods in organic, especially berries and spinach (what I eat most often). I recently joined a bulk food shop (such as Costco) and they have a lot of my favorite organic foods for much cheaper! I love it.