The Dirty Dozen

When I teach my cooking classes I am often asked if I buy and eat everything organic.  I usually tell students that they should buy the best they can afford, realizing everyone can not always afford to shop all organic (let’s hope this changes over time).  I try to do my best, but even I don’t make it work all the time.

There is a list, validated by the Environmental Working Group, of the 12 most contaminated types of produce (“the dirty dozen”).  The EWG uses thorough methodology to determine pesticide levels in produce-they are an amazing organization for so many reasons.  They even produced an iphone app so you can keep this list handy whenever you’re at the market.  While they were at it, they also published a list of the “clean fifteen”, the 15 vegetables/fruits least likely to have pesticides.  This is produce that is probably okay to buy conventional, if you are making choices.

Here is the list…

The Dirty Dozen

Peaches
Apples
Nectarines
Strawberries
Cherries
Imported grapes
Sweet bell peppers
Celery
Kale
Lettuce
Carrots

The Clean Fifteen
Avocados
Pineapples
Mangoes
Kiwis
Papayas
Watermelon
Grapefruit 
Onions
Sweet Corn
Asparagus
Sweet Peas
Cabbage
Eggplant
Broccoli
Tomatoes
Sweet Potatoes

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