The Clean Fifteen™

In response to my last post regarding the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen™—a list of the conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of pesticide residue, a friend asked me about “cleaner” produce.

In fact along with their Dirty Dozen™, the EWG each year releases a list of the produce “least likely to hold pesticide residue”—The Clean Fifteen™:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet Peas frozen
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangos
  9. Papaya (please note, most Hawaiian papaya is a genetically modified crop)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet Potatoes

One of the EWG key findings: “multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen™ samples had two or more pesticides.” Think of this compared to one of their key finding regarding the Dirty Dozen™: “single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas, and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.”

As I mentioned last week, look for organic produce since they contain the least amount of pesticide residue. Even if it’s not a 100% guarantee, eating them is the safer option.

Hopefully these two lists will make us think twice about what we place in our grocery carts. We have a choice. Do we want to fill our carts with produce off The Clean Fifteen™ list or The Dirty Dozen™ one? Here’s hoping we make the healthier choice.


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