We are told that we need to eat organic produce in order to avoid consuming synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage-based fertilizers. Farmers who tend to organic produce only use natural fertilizers, such as manure and compost, instead of chemical or synthetic fertilizers.
But does this mean we should buy the organic versions of every fruit and vegetable? Or are there certain crops that contain higher amounts of pesticide residue that we should watch out for and others that do not contain any residue?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human and environmental health, annually updates a list of produce that contains the highest amount of pesticide residue and a list of produce that contains the least amount of pesticide residue. We can utilize both of these lists in order to prioritize which organic fruits and vegetables to purchase.
With the help of the dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists, we can simultaneously save money and maintain excellent health. Despite any of the lists, still make sure to wash your fruits and vegetables well before cooking or consuming!
The Dirty Dozen
Below are the twelve fruits and veggies that contain the highest amount of pesticide residue. As often as you can, purchase the following foods organically.
The Clean Fifteen
Below are the fifteen fruits and veggies that contain the lowest amount of pesticide residue. You can purchase the non-organic versions of these items and still uphold your family’s health.
2. Sweet Corn
6. Frozen Sweet Peas
14. Honeydew Melons