Updated Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists for 2013
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Updated Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists for 2013

Posted on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at 11:40 am
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Shopping series - Young woman with mobile phoneEach year the Environmental Working Group releases the results of their study of pesticide usage on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. They release the results in the form of two lists – The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15. The Dirty Dozen lists the fruits and vegetables that require the most pesticides required for growth in large quantities, while the Clean 15 includes the produce that requires the least amount of pesticides.

Pesticides are not only harmful to the environment, but traces of them end up on the final product that ends up in grocery stores. While buying organic produce is the best way to avoid the consumption of harmful pesticides, your budget may not always allow it. One way to lower your intake of pesticides and chemicals is to follow the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists. Try buying organic varieties of anything on the Dirty Dozen list. If you’re trying to save money, you’ll be safer buying conventionally grown varieties of the Clean 15.

Keep in mind that many products that include fresh fruits or vegetables may be made with unsafe produce. Items like apple sauce, raisins, or dried fruit can still contain traces of pesticides. Any additional products made with items on the Dirty Dozen list should also be bought in organic varieties.

Here are the updated lists for 2013. :

Dirty Dozen: apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and hot peppers.

Clean 15: mushrooms, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi, eggplant, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, frozen sweet peas, cabbage, avocados, pineapple, onions, and corn.

The EWG also released a Dirty Dozen Plus category, which contains foods that didn’t make the Dirty Dozen, but were found to be commonly contaminated with pesticides that are toxic to the nervous system. The Plus list includes domestically grown summer squash and leafy greens.

Consider printing a copy of both lists to take with you next time you go shopping. You can also visit the Environmental Working Groups website for more information. If you donate $10 to the EWG, they’ll send you a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce bag tag for free!

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