Have you ever heard of the dirty dozen in the produce world? It’s basically a list that is published every year for the past 13 years by the Environmental Working Group that ranks the pesticide contamination of 48 common fruits and vegetables. If the pesticide levels are high, the produce item can land on the Dirty Dozen list; if the pesticide levels are low, the produce item can land on the Clean Fifteen list.
While the list is normally the same year after year, there is some fluctuation from time to time. This year USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. Yowzas. That’s crazy! Here are some other key things they noticed:
- Spinach samples had an average of twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
- The most contaminated sample of strawberries had 20 different pesticides.
- Nearly all samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
Here are the lists so you know what you need to wash like crazy or maybe soak in a nice vinegar bath before eating, and what fruits and veggies are on the safer end.
The Dirty Dozen
- Sweet bell peppers
The Clean Fifteen
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet peas frozen
- Honeydew melon
Check out all their findings HERE.