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Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Updated

peaches

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Updated: One of the first articles posted on this site was about the 12 dirtiest conventionally farmed fruits and veggies, or the ones that have the highest pesticide contamination levels. I also included the 12 least contaminated, because these are the produce that an be purchased conventionally with much less worry. There has recently been an update to the EWG list, and some of the dirty and clean fruits and veggies have changed (I’m most sad to see bananas drop way off the clean list!).

To quote our previous article,

For a number of reasons, purchasing organic produce is becoming increasingly popular, but it still remains too expensive for many. Switching over to organic groceries can be a difficult, and expensive, task. For those who want to start the switch, but cannot afford to buy all organic, it is important to know which fruits and vegetables are less contaminated with pesticides, and which are important to purchase organic. By avoiding the 12 dirtiest fruits and vegetables, or buying them organic, we can lower our pesticide exposure by almost 90%.

 

The Dirty Dozen

  • Peaches- 96.7% of samples tested positive for pesticides, 87% for multiple pesticides
  • Apples- 94.1% tested positive, 82.3% for multiple pesticides
  • Sweet Bell Peppers- 81.5% tested positive, 62.2% for multiple pesticides
  • Celery- 94.1% tested positive, 79.8% for multiple pesticides
  • Nectarines- 97.3% tested positive, 85.3% for multiple pesticides
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Kale- 53.1% for multiple pesticides
  • Lettuce
  • Imported Grapes
  • Carrots- 82.3% tested positive
  • Pears

 

New to the dirty dozen are carrots and kale, while spinach has dropped to 14th dirtiest, and potatoes have dropped to 15th.

The Clean Fifteen

  • Onions- no detectable residues on 90% or more of samples, zero samples positive for multiple pesticides
  • Avocado- less than 10% tested positive, less than 1% for multiple pesticides
  • Frozen Sweet Corn- no detectable residues on 90% or more of samples, zero samples positive for multiple pesticides
  • Pineapples- less than 10% tested positive, less than 1% for multiple pesticides
  • Mango- less than 10% tested positive, less than 1% for multiple pesticides
  • Asparagus- no detectable residues on 90% or more of samples
  • Frozen Sweet Peas- 77.1% had no detectable pesticides
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage- 82.1% had no detectable pesticides
  • Eggplant- 75.4% had no detectable pesticides
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon- 28.1% tested positive, 9.5% for multiple pesticides
  • Broccoli- 65.2% had no detectable pesticides
  • Tomatoes- 53.1% had no detectable pesticides, 13.5% positive for multiple pesticides
  • Sweet Potatoes and Grapefruit tie

 

Bananas, my favorite, have moved from 9th cleanest to 27th dirtiest (or 21st cleanest, if you want to be optimistic about it). To see the full list of 47 fruits and veggies tested, visit Environmental Working Group.

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