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EWG: The Updated Dirty Dozen + Clean 15

06.23.11 EWG: The Updated Dirty Dozen + Clean 15

Environmental Working Group, (EWG) has just released its new and updated list of 12 fruits and vegetables most contaminated by pesticides, notoriously called the "Dirty Dozen". On the bright side, they also compiled a list of the least contaminated fruits and vegetables known as the "Clean 15".

This year, apples and celery made the switch for the #1 and #2 positions. The speculation for apples taking over the first spot on the list is addressed by Sonya Luder, EWG's senior analyst. "We think what's happening to apples is more pesticides and fungicides are being applied after the harvest so the fruit can have a longer shelf life." EWG notes that as a category, "peaches have been treated with more pesticides than any other produce, registering combinations of up to 57 different chemicals. Apples were next, with 56 pesticides and raspberries with 51".

EWG qualifies that their Shopper's Guide to Pesticides is meant to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but also they stress, "eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all". Read more here from EWG's Press Release.

However, it is of concern that a fairly recent study has linked children who are exposed to higher levels of pesticides known as organophosphates to having a higher risk of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). "The pesticides act on a set of brain chemicals closely related to those involved in ADHD", explains lead researcher Maryse Bouchard. "Organophosphates were originally developed for chemical warfare, and they are known to be toxic to the nervous system", adds fellow researcher Marc Weisskopf, of the Harvard School of Public Health, who also worked on the study. 

Dirty Dozen
Buy these organic:
  1. apples
  2. celery
  3. strawberries
  4. peaches
  5. spinach
  6. nectarines (imported)
  7. grapes (imported)
  8. sweet bell peppers
  9. potatoes
  10. blueberries (domestic)
  11. lettuce
  12. kale/collard greens
Clean 15
Lowest in pesticides:
  1. onions
  2. sweet corn
  3. pineapple
  4. avocados
  5. asparagus
  6. sweet peas
  7. mangoes
  8. eggplant
  9. canteloupe (domestic)
  10. kiwi
  11. cabbage
  12. watermelon
  13. sweet potatoes
  14. grapefruit
  15. mushrooms

How do you try to avoid pesticides in your home?

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