It’s no secret that buying organic is a great decision, if you can afford it. There is little downside to keeping the pesticides and herbicides used to produce your foods to a minimum. However, it’s also no secret that buying organic is expensive. For some, especially people with families, it can be overwhelming to foot the bill of an all-organic grocery run. Is it worth the investment? I’d argue yes, but still, some people just do not have the money to invest, and there is nothing wrong with that.
For people who opt not to buy all-organic, for one reason or another, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to educate yourself. It’s important to understand which foods are relatively safe to eat, and which foods are exposed to the greatest amount of dangerous chemicals. Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group makes education both easy and accessible. Each year, the EWG releases the “Dirty Dozen” foods that use the highest pesticide load for their production. These are foods that are well worth it to buy organic, consume sparingly, or at least wash twice before plopping them on your plate.
Conversely, the EWG also releases the “Clean Fifteen” foods that have accomplished the exact opposite. These foods use the least amount of pesticides. If you can’t quite afford to buy all-organic, these are the foods that you’re probably safe to buy conventional. You should still always, of course, wash your produce carefully before consuming. However, these foods have the least crap to wash off.
Without further ado, here are this year’s Dirty Dozen:
10. Sweet Bell Peppers
11. Cherry Tomatoes
And here are this year’s Clean Fifteen
2. Sweet Corn
5. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
12. Honeydew Melon
You can find the EWG’s full Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce here.