Each year the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization puts out a wonderful shopping guide for fruits and vegetables containing the least and most pesticides. The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles. I love this site because they also research cosmetics and other environment issues to keep us safe!
We wrote about the Dirty Dozen list last year in the post called: BabyStep #4: Organic Produce.
I keep their “Dirty Dozen” App on my iPhone handy at all my grocery shopping trips!!
They just released the 2012 update for the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list. This is how it looks now:
I’m hoping they will update their App, but for now, this list will do!
What changed from last year’s guide?
1. The order has changed. Notice strawberries were 3rd and now they are 12th, blueberries were 10th and now they are 3rd!
2. Kale moved down out of the top 12, but are mentioned in the side note.
3. And, cucumbers were introduced into the dirty dozen.
The EWG has also called out two items in addition to the dirty dozen – green beans and leafy greens (including collard greens and kale) – noting that they may contain “pesticide residues of special concern.” Although these items did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria, conventional green beans and greens are often contaminated with “highly toxic organophosphate insecticides.” These insecticides have largely been removed from agriculture over the past decade, they have not been banned and therefore still show up on some conventional food crops.
The EWG also noted that consumers who are concerned about consuming GMOs should opt for organic varieties of sweet corn, as there are currently no labeling requirements in the U.S.
I hope this helps you as you make choices for your family!