This list which releases yearly and uses information from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) helps me to decide which fruits and vegetables to eat organic. After my cancer journey and finding high levels of pesticides in my body, I’m doing what I reasonably can to reduce the pesticides in my body. There is a way we can reduce our pesticide risk by using this list without having to buy everything organic.
Here are the takeaways from the 2021 EWG List of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen:
Strawberries win again as the produce containing the most pesticide residue. This is not a contest to brag about winning. It lets us know that these delicacies of nature should be bought organic or from local farmers who let us know they use fewer pesticides. These can be bought organic and frozen reasonably at Costco. Spinach and kale/collards/mustard greens were also high. Since I use greens daily in my smoothie, I always buy these organic and the large tubs don’t cost much more and are worth the investment in keeping my pesticide levels down.
Avocados take first place again in the Clean Fifteen. For someone who eats half an avocado in her smoothie daily, this means I don’t have to buy this superfood organic. The hard outer shell apparently protects the inside nutrients from penetrating the inside. And you will find this with many produce that have a thick outer shell.
Citrus samples contain a fungicide that can interfere with hormone levels. Because of the protective outer layer, citrus fruits and tangerines don’t land on the Dirty Dozen List. Unfortunately, this one fungicide imazalil, which the EPA calls a “probable carcinogen,” was found in 90 percent of the citrus samples. This is not good if you have a hormone-driven cancer or hormone issues. I recommend advocacy here. If enough people speak up, farmers may decide to use something else. Until then, this gal who got a hormone-driven cancer will try to buy my lemons organic until something changes. I use lemons daily. Ouch!
Residues of at least one of three pesticides banned in the EU were found in some crops. Imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam were found on more than half the samples of potatoes, spinach and lettuce. My trips to Europe have taught me that many things banned there are allowed here. Again, advocacy is important. I felt safer eating in Europe than I do eating here. When people stand up and vote their concerns with what they buy, things will change.
There are fruits and vegetables with fewer pesticides to order when eating out. According to the Clean Fifteen List, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peas, mushrooms, cabbage, eggplant, and onions are safe vegetables to order. Safe fruits include avocadoes, papayas, pineapples, kiwis, honeydews and cantaloupes.
Here are the EWG’s 2021 New List of Fruits and Vegetables
EWG’s Dirty Dozen
These are the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue
- Kale/Collard Greens/Mustard Greens
- Bells and hot peppers
EWG’s Clean 15
The Clean 15 list includes produce that is least likely to be contaminated by pesticides.
Here’s the 2020 Clean 15 List:
- Sweet Corn*
- Frozen Sweet Peas
- Honeydew Melon
- Note: Some sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States are GMOs, so choose organic to avoid GMOs.
Advocacy and standing up for what we want is important in these days. We are the consumer. We vote when we buy. We can also let the higher ups know how we feel. You can sign EWG’s petition to get imazalil banned.
Do you use this yearly list to help you determine what to buy organic and what to order when eating out?
For Your Health,
Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs and named a Selah Awards Finalist. It was written with commentary from an oncologist. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.