The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit publishes a yearly list of pesticides in produce. Their “Dirty Dozen” is a list of crops that are the most contaminated with pesticides. These are the fruits and vegetables that you want to buy organic (or grow yourself) whenever possible. Tip: The Dirty Dozen list contains berries and leafy greens.
EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” are fruits and vegetables that are “clean”. They are at lower risk of pesticide contamination. So it is generally okay to purchase these in the conventional produce aisle. Tip: Generally, the Clean Fifteen have an outer skin, shell or casing that shields them (and you) from pesticides. Sweet corn, papaya, and summer squash may use genetically engineered seed.
EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” For 2022:
Kale, Collard & Mustard Greens
Bell & Hot Peppers
EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” For 2022:
Sweet peas (frozen)
NOTE: According to EWG, a small percentage of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash grown in the U.S. is produced from genetically modified seeds. You can work around this by buying these in the organic section, from a local farm that doesn’t use genetically modified seeds, or by growing your own produce from non-GM seeds.
Tips and Resources:
You can use your cell phone or screen shot to take a photo of EWG’s 2022 lists. Get EWG’s 2022 Guide from their website.