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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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.