Do you follow the dirty dozen and the clean 15 rule? It’s a simple rule of fruits & vegetables that help consumers know when to buy organic and when it is unnecessary. Or even better – what to grow in your own garden and what to buy at the grocery store!
You may have heard this saying or ‘rule’ before but might not know how it came about or why you should follow it in the first place. A couple of years ago, the Environmental Working Group used data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture to look at the amount of pesticide residue found in non-organic fruits and vegetables. Some follow a rule of thumb that if you’re eating the skin then buy organic- but that isn’t always necessarily the case.
Some types of produce are more prone to contain pesticides for multiple reasons. This is all dependent on how they’re grown, when they’re grown, and how fast they grow. This study in particular looks at the pesticides that remain on the produce after it's already washed and ready to eat. They found that some tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals – which ended up in the “Dirty Dozen” list.
The fruits & veggies found on the "Clean 15" list contain little to no traces of pesticides after they have been washed. This list contains some frozen foods as well as foods with and without a protective layer or ‘skin’ that you would take off before eating. These foods are more acceptable to be bought conventionally instead of organic at your local grocery store or market. Check out the list below for the Environmental Working Group's 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists.
Dirty Dozen Fruits & Vegetables
- Sweet Bell Peppers
Clean 15 Fruits & Vegetables
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
Do you follow these guidelines as a general rule when buying produce? What do you normally buy organic?
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