As we gear up for the warmer weather, eating fresh produce should become even more of a priority. You’ll have more energy to enjoy summer fun, and you’ll feel and look better too. However, there’s an ugly secret that lives in our food supply of our fresh fruits and vegetables: Harmful pesticides! Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tracks what is actually in our food, since the Environmental Protection Agency, it says, has “largely failed to tell Americans they have a right to know about the risks of pesticide exposure and ways they can reduce pesticides in their diets.
Recently, EWG released their annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, which lists the fruits and veggies with the most and the least amount of pesticides, “The Dirty Dozen,” and “The Clean 15.” Its goal is to promote transparency and help the public figure out when to spend extra for organic produce.
If it fits in your budget, the EWG recommends buying organic whenever possible. The most economical way to buy organic is to shop at your local farmer’s market. If it's not in the budget, the EWG’s guide can help you make more informed decisions.
Here is the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.
The Dirty Dozen: The fruits and veggies with the MOST pesticides.
7. Sweet bell peppers
8. Nectarines (imported)
10. Cherry tomatoes
11. Snap peas (imported)
(The "Dirty Dozen Plus" includes: Hot peppers & Kale/Collard greens, so spring for organic, whenever possible)
The Clean Fifteen: The fruits and veggies with the LEAST pesticides
2. Sweet corn
5. Sweet peas (frozen)
15. Sweet potatoes
For more information on Environmental Working Group, including the Shopper’s Guide Report, visit http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php