Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Produce: The Dirty Dozen and the “Clean” 15

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes out with a Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. This is a great tool that can help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic.

Now for my disclaimer. I always recommend buying organic produce whenever possible, and it’s important to understand that this guide doesn’t really address the amount of chemicals used in growing the produce, it simply ranks the amount of pesticide residue found on the outside of the produce. Also keep in mind, the list does not help with determining which crops are likely to be genetically modified, which in my opinion, is every bit as concerning as the pesticides.

With that in mind, if you must buy conventional produce due to budgetary restraints or lack of availability of organic produce, then use these lists as a guide to shopping.  I highly recommend washing both organic and especially conventional produced before consuming it— unless you grew the organic produce yourself, in which case, a little dirt might actually be good for you. Here are some simple tips on washing your produce.