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The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

organic food dirty dozen

Ever heard of the dirty dozen or the clean fifteen? Are you wondering what they are exactly? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is the organization responsible for updating these lists every year. The EWG ranks pesticide contamination in popular fruits and vegetables and designates foods to the dirty dozen (the twelve produce that have the highest levels of pesticide residue) or the clean fifteen (the fifteen produce items that contain the lowest levels of pesticide residue). These rankings are based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (USDA, FDA) after testing fruits and vegetables that have been thoroughly washed and peeled, when applicable. Foods on the dirty dozen list are foods you should buy organic when possible; they are 95 percent free of synthetic additives such as pesticides, chemical fertilizers and dyes. Synthetic additives are harmful to our bodies and should be avoided. The clean fifteen is a list of foods the EWG deems reasonable to buy non-organic since they have the lowest pesticides levels. For more information on why each food made the dirty dozen or clean fifteen list, go to Dirty Dozen for 2017 1. Strawberries 2. Spinach 3. Nectarines 4. Apples 5. Peaches 6. Pears 7. Cherries 8. Grapes 9. Celery 10. Tomato 11. Sweet bell peppers 12. Potatoes

Clean Fifteen for 2017 1. Sweet corn 2. Avocado 3. Pineapple 4. Cabbage 5. Onions 6. Frozen sweet peas 7. Papayas 8. Asparagus 9. Mango 10. Eggplant 11. Honeydew melon 12. Kiwi 13. Cantaloupe 14. Cauliflower 15. Grapefruit

Bottom line: You don’t have to buy your entire grocery list from the organic section of the supermarket, but there are a number of fruits and vegetables that are best when purchased organic. Written by: Kayla Arouchon, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern Source

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