If you are concerned about pesticides in the produce you feed your family and want to reduce them, then here is the list to shop with. Updated annually, it’s the new 2016 list from The Environmental Working Group (The EWG). The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists are a terrific resource for healthy shopping choices.
The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen List 2016
For the first time ever, strawberries topped the list for the highest number of pesticide residues on the Dirty Dozen list. Apples headed the list for the last five years, but still came in number two for 2016.
The Dirty Dozen (+)
The Dirty Dozen list highlights fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues. Buy organic from this list if at all possible.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
**Hot peppers, kale and collard greens were additions for this year so it’s really the Dirty Dozen Plus
The Clean Fifteen
The Clean Fifteen list highlights fruits and vegetables that are least likely to have pesticide residues. Shop with this list when when organic is not accessible or affordable.
- Sweet Corn*
- Sweet peas frozen
- Honeydew melon
Get the full list of 50 here (lower numbers = more pesticides)
Use this link to get a downloadable PDF guide of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce to eat healthier and save money.
The Bottom Line: Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is important for a healthy diet. It is far more important than whether they are organically or conventionally grown. If your budget won’t handle the cost of organic produce or the availability is lousy, remember this and be sure to eat your fruits and vegetables.
* The EWG notes that a small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from GE (GMO) seedstock. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically engineered produce.