The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its 2017 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists — a catalog of fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue. Strawberries still top the “Dirty Dozen” list — in fact, one sample of strawberries had more than 20 different pesticides.
The increased insect burden has driven up pesticide use. While toxicity levels and concentrations vary by item, synthetic pesticides should be avoided (or severely limited) for infants, babies, and young children, the EWG reports.
Bottom line? “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic,” said EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder in a statement. “If you can’t buy organic, the Shopper’s Guide will steer you to conventionally grown produce that is the lowest in pesticides.”
Here’s a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen”:
The Dirty Dozen:
- Sweet bell peppers
The Clean Fifteen:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas, frozen
- Honeydew melon
For a full list of where various fruits and veggies rank, visit the EWG website.