The good folks at the Environmental Working Group recently released an updated Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, the go-to source for which fruits and vegetables carry the most and least pesticides.
As budgets tighten and some families begin to prioritize their organic options, this list can be invaluable in helping to evaluate the healthiest choices: choosing organic for the produce designated as the “Dirty Dozen” can reduce pesticide exposure by nearly 80 percent.
So, what’s new about the Dirty Dozen?
Three new foods made the list: kale, lettuce, and carrots, replacing potatoes, spinach, and red raspberries.
The newly updated Dirty Dozen now stands as follows:
- bell peppers
- imported grapes
The fruits and vegetables that you can stress less about include onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapple and mango.
Check in with EWG for a full list of fruit and vegetable rankings, calculated using these criteria:
- percentage with pesticides detected
- percentage detecting multiple pesticides
- average of different pesticides on a single sample (One sample of a sweet bell pepper tested harbored 11 different pesticides!)
- average amount of all pesticides found
- maximum number of pesticides on a single sample
- total number of pesticides found per fruit or vegetable group
The Guardian reported that organic food sales were down by 14% last year, and another decline of 5% is predicted for 2009. If you need to choose which food to buy organic, choose the Dirty Dozen.
Print your own wallet-sized Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 guide and take it with you to the store for easy referral!