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The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It’s the middle of Summer in a lot of places, the time when the produce section at grocery stores is piled with the largest selection of fresh and vibrant fruits and vegetables. Whatever lifestyle/diet you follow it’s that time of the year when we feel like eating lighter and seek refreshment in the form of a juicy fruit or reach for ingredients to whip up a salad. But what is lurking on the surface of those, otherwise nutritious, treasures? The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit focused on public health, puts together a list of the most contaminated and the safest produce every year. This year’s report has apples sitting at the top of the “dirty dozen” list and onions take the number one spot of the “clean fifteen”.  What this means is that if you strive to buy organic fruits and vegetables but are forced to make choices because of availability or budget then you probably want to carry this list in your wallet. This can help you make decisions like avoiding non-organic apples because they have the highest amount of pesticide residue. On the other hand, it’s not that big of a deal if you place conventional onions in your basket due to less pesticide spraying. So here are the lists…

The "Dirty Dozen"
1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Imported nectarines
7. Imported grapes
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Domestic blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens 

The "Clean 15” 
1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Domestic cantaloupe
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet Potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms


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