It’s that time of year again… For the eighth year in a row, the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group has released its annual Dirty Dozen list of the 12 most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables on the market as part of their 2012 Shoppers Guide (along with the coinciding list of the cleanest 15). To compose this year’s list, EWG researchers looked at 45 popular fruits and vegetables based on pesticide-load reports conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. The database includes 60,700 samples taken over a 10 year period, beginning in 2000. The group found that 68 percent of the food samples tested had detectable pesticide residues, even after they had been washed and/or peeled.
Like last year, apples top the dirty list, while cucumbers are new to the group. So if you’re trying to figure out where you’d like to spend the few extra bucks on organic produce, let the dirty dozen list be your guide. Alternatively, let the clean 15 list provide you peace of mind that not every non-organic, conventional fruit and vegetable you eat is loaded with unwanted chemicals.
The Dirty Dozen (The fruits and vegetables you may want to consider buying organic)
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Imported Nectarines
- Domestic Blueberries
*With a not so honorable mention to green beans and kale
The Clean 15 (The safest conventional fruits and vegetables)
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Domestic Cantaloupe
- Sweet Potatoes