Annual "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" Produce Lists Released

178175411

178175411

Fresh vegetable

Given the premium often charged for organic fruits and vegetables, many shoppers have asked themselves if that pricier bunch of kale or pint of tomatoes is really worth it. For those who want reduce their exposure to pesticides, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its latest version of the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Each year, the advocacy group measures pesticide residues on conventionally grown produce and ranks fruits and vegetables from "dirty" to "clean."

Organic produce is produced without the use of any chemical pesticides or herbicides. According to the EWG, which promotes eating produce of all kinds as part of a healthy diet,  the Environmental Protection Agency falls short on its responsibilities to educate consumers about the amounts of pesticide residues found on conventional produce. The Shopper's Guide, which is available online, in print and as an app, is designed to help consumers make informed choices about how best to spend their organic dollars.

The EWG  recommends opting for organic when it comes to those fruits and vegetables that are otherwise heavily contaminated. "Cleaner" items, with less residue, may not be worth the extra cost.

Produce for 2014

Apples are the No. 1 offender on this year's "Dirty Dozen" list. Summer favorites such as strawberries, peaches, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes are also on the "Dirty" list this year. Hot peppers, kale and collard greens have been given special "Dirty Dozen Plus" status; although they fall outside the top twelve, they contain pesticide residues that are particularly harmful, according to the EWG.

The "Clean Fifteen" list, which groups together the least-contaminated fruits and vegetables, includes avocado (in first place), as well as frozen peas, onions, asparagus and cantaloupe.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Organic Produce: The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

Organic produce is all the rage these days, but do you need to buy EVERYTHING organic to avoid ingestion of potentially harmful pesticides and herbicides? Certain fruits and vegetables are grown using more virulent pesticides because of how and where they’re grown and the types of insects that damage them. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has conducted extensive research on popular fruits and vegetables to identify which are the most contaminated.

US News Releases List of the Best Diets For Healthy Eating

U.S. News just released a list of the healthiest diets. How did popular diets like Paleo, Mediterranean, DASH, TLC and Atkins rate?

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.

Produce Picks: Squash

Learn everything you should know about squash, from its health benefits to best recipes.

Produce Safety 101

Keep your produce safe with these simple tips for shopping, preparation and storage.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.