Apples Atop Dirty Dozen List

Apples top the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) ninth annual “Dirty Dozen” list of the top 12 fruits and vegetables that show the highest levels of pesticides for 2013.

It is EWG’s recommendation, that when possible, you should avoid conventionally (non-organic) versions of the dirty dozen, instead purchasing and consuming their organic counterparts.

2013 Dirty Dozen List

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Hot peppers

On the other hand, the Clean 15 show the produce with the least amount of pesticide exposure and that are fine to consume from conventionally grown sources.

2013 Clean Fifteen List

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Sweet potatoes

These lists are not published without controversy.

In response to the EWG’s 2013 publication, Produce for a Better Health Foundation sent out an email stating that, “the EWG has again misrepresented information found in government issued reports…Specifically, Risk = Exposure X Toxicity, and EWG considers ‘exposure’ but not ‘toxicity.'”

In response to the EWG lists, PBH encourages you to visit the Alliance for Food and Farming website to find more accurate information on pesticide use, toxicology, and nutrition, as well as a pesticide residue calculator – and to follow their simple, but effective tip they recommend for all consumers when it comes to fruits & veg, “Just Wash It!”

Regardless of who you believe: EWG or PBH, most nutrition experts agree – the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables outweigh the harm of not doing so.

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