Since 2004, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has helped shoppers steer away from pesticides in produce with their yearly shopping guide. Every Spring, EWG highlights a Dirty Dozen (produce sprayed the most, buyers should shop organic) and a Clean Fifteen list (produce sprayed the least, safe to buy conventional).
This guide is incredibly helpful for those who are new to purchasing organic produce and are looking for a starting point. It's also a reminder that health goes beyond the nutrients in produce - what's laying on the surface should also be taken into consideration!
Dirty Dozen 2022
The following foods, despite being thoroughly washed and cleaned, still contain high levels of pesticide residue. Pesticide exposure has been linked to cancer and is a known intestinal irritant in high doses, so avoiding pesticides can have a positive impact on your health. The EWG recommends purchasing organically-grown versions of these foods to reduce pesticide exposure.
3. Kale, Mustard and Collard Greens
7. Bell and hot peppers
Clean Fifteen 2022
This list contains produce with the least amount of pesticide residue, making them safe to purchase conventionally. In fact, 70% of this list had essentially NO detectable traces of pesticides! It is always recommended to wash your produce before consuming, even if it is on this list (you don't know who has been touching your food, what bugs may be on it, etc.)
2. Sweet corn
6. Frozen sweet peas
8. Honeydew melon
15. Sweet potatoes
To download the EWG's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen produce guide, or to learn more about them, head over to their website!
Did you know that we carry a wide selection of organic foods? Find a store near you to learn more!