Each year, the Environmental Working Group provides consumers with a list of the twelve conventionally grown produce items that contain the most pesticide residues after harvest. This year’s “Dirty Dozen” list was recently released, with strawberries staying at the top of the list for the third year in the row. This is a great guide to follow when shopping for organic vs. conventional produce. Fruits and vegetables with thin, edible skins are more likely to be coated in harmful chemicals, as you can see from the list above. If you have the option, it’s best to buy these fruits and vegetables organic.
Sweet bell peppers
The “Clean Fifteen” are the fruits and vegetables that are the least contaminated when conventionally grown. Since organic produce can be costly, it’s good to allocate your resources wisely. So don’t worry about getting all produce organic, but opt for the ones where it really matters. The clean 15 items tend to have thick skins that you peel. So, even if pesticides are used, you usually do not ingest them with the flesh of the fruit.
Frozen sweet peas
Remember, it’s always a good idea to eat fruits and vegetables, so do not worry if you cannot find or afford organic, and still get as many servings a day as you can to satisfy your nutritional needs. Lastly, always be sure to practice good food safety and wash your produce thoroughly before eating or preparing.
Be sure to check out The Environmental Working Group at www.ewg.org for more information.