These lists from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) are a great way to prioritize which foods you must buy organic when eating on a budget. The EWG uses data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program to produce these lists each year. This Naughty or Dirty Dozen are the fruits/vegetables that you need to buy organic due to high pesticide residue. The Nice or Clean Fifteen are the ones you don’t have to have to worry about. Here are the new results:
Dirty Dozen (The Naughty List!)**
- Kale/Collards/Mustard Greens
- Bell and Hot Peppers
Clean Fifteen (The Nice List)**
- Sweet Corn*
- Frozen Sweet Peas
- Honeydew Melon
- Sweet Potatoes
**Information from the Environmental Working Group at EWG.org
*A small amount of sweet corn and papaya, and summer squash are GMO and should be bought organic.
Here are the five takeaways:
- Avocadoes continue to hold the Number One Spot as the cleanest fruit/vegetable. They are a fruit that many call a superfood and contain healthy fats. Guacamole never looked so good.
- Strawberries, unfortunately, continue to hold the uncoveted title of the fruit/vegetable with the “Highest Pesticide Residue.” Ninety-nine percent of strawberries tested have pesticides residues and up to 22 different pesticides on a single strawberry! Although, one of America’s favorite fruits, this one is best eaten organic or grown in your own garden. Check with your local farmer who may not use as many pesticides.
- A single sample of kale, mustard greens and collards contained up to 21 different pesticides including Dacthal, which is banned in the EU and is listed as a “possible human carcinogen.” For this reason, I eat greens like this organic.
- Seventy percent of non-organic produce tested positive for pesticide contaminants.
- Residues of Thiamethoxam, Clothianidin, and Imidaclopid which are pesticides banned in the EU were found on more than one in two samples of potatoes, spinach, and lettuce tested in the US.
Remember our goal is to lower our pesticide residue so that our body and immune system can work as God intended. We live in a toxic world. Our goal is not perfection. Next week we’ll look at suggestions for reducing our toxic load with food while living on a budget.
For Your Health,