The Dirty Dozen is a list published by the Environmental Working Group that prioritizes the fruits and veggies that you should buy organic because of their high levels of pesticide residue.
The EWG’s still stresses the importance of eating lots of fruits and veggies — organic or not — but if you can only afford to buy some organic produce, you’ll want to start with the Dirty Dozen. To put your mind at ease, they’ve also published the Clean Fifteen, which lists produce that has low levels of pesticide residue so there’s no need to spend more on organically grown varieties.
It looks like this year they’ve ordered them alphabetically rather than trying to rank them based on the level of pesticides, and the only real change is the addition of cucumbers to the dirty dozen list (which bumped kale/greens down to “plus” status).
Here is the 2012 list, plus a printable cheat sheet from the EWG to carry with you!
The Dirty Dozen
2. bell peppers
3. blueberries (domestic)
8. nectarines (imported)
…plus green beans & kale/greens
The Clean Fifteen
4. cantaloupe (domestic)
13. sweet peas
14. sweet potatoes
The Environmental Working Group has a handy printable to help you keep track of their recommendations!
How do you decide when to spend more on organic?