EWG Update: The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

The Environmental Working Group has updated its list of which fruits and veggies you should buy organic; here’s a review.

The Environmental Working Group constantly scrutinizes the amounts of pesticide residues found on popular produce. We want to keep you updated on which fruits and veggies you should buy organic – here’s a review of the 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide Residues.

The Dirty Dozen PLUS

The top 12 most contaminated had remained relatively consistent other than a few items shifting positions. But in 2012 a “PLUS” category was added to the original dozen. Conventionally-grown green beans, kale and collard greens have been given special consideration because of an especially dangerous toxin they are treated with. Organophosphate insecticides are toxic to the neurological system and are found in even higher amounts on bell peppers and nectarines (numbers 3 and 6 on the Dirty Dozen list).

The Clean Fifteen

Not many changes to the Clean Fifteen - onions, sweet corn and pineapple round out the top 3 least contaminated fruits and vegetables.

Newcomers

This year, the EWG reports included information on pesticides in baby food and drinking water. Samples of green bean, pear and sweet potato baby food were tested. Sweet potatoes were the only variety that turned up clean! Drinking water testing wasn’t much better -- the majority of drinking samples came back contaminated with various toxic pesticides and herbicides.

View the complete lists and download the PDF on the Environmental Working Group's website.

Tell Us: Will you use the EWG list when you shop for produce?
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