The dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists are a great way to ease into buying organic produce. These lists reveal the most pesticide-laden produce items as well as the 15 produce items with the least amount of pesticides. The lists guide you in what products you'll want to buy organic and what products you can opt not to if you are tight on money or lack selection in your local grocery store. I keep a dirty dozen/clean fifteen card next to my coupons, so I'm mindful of the lists when I do my shopping.
Why does it matter if your produce is organic or not? Many of the pesticides used on fruit and vegetables have been linked to health problems including cancer, lung irritation, eye irritation, skin irritation as well as brain and nervous system toxicity.
Here are the 2017 lists compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Visit EWG's website for additional information about the lists.
The Dirty Dozen:
- Sweet bell peppers
The Clean Fifteen:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas frozen
- Honeydew Melon