You may want to think twice before purchasing your next pint of strawberries.
This year, the ruby fruit topped the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Dirty Dozen list for the first year, bumping apples — long the “dirtiest” of all conventionally grown produce — to the No. 2 slot. Additionally, cherries are now back on the list after a five-year clean streak. The Clean 15, meanwhile, has remained virtually unchanged.
Every year, the nonprofit EWG collects data from the USDA and FDA in order to create their Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists, which rank the most and least pesticide-ridden fruits and veggies.
If you want to avoid pesticides, the EWG advises to always buy organic produce. But if all-organic isn’t in your budget, these lists can be a great tool to help shoppers determine which organic fruits and veggies are definitely worth the extra pennies.
EWG’s 2016 Dirty Dozen
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
Find the full list of the 48 fruits and vegetables that were tested at the EWG site.
For more on the benefits behind choosing organic food, see “Organic Gardening 101.”