Today the Environmental Working Group released its 2013 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to highlight the pesticide loads in various types of produce. We’ll go over the Clean Fifteen later in the week, but we wanted to start by taking a look at the foods that made the 2013 Dirty Dozen list. The list is compiled by measuring the percentage of samples that contained pesticide residue, the percentage that had more than one type of pesticide, the average number of pesticides found, the volume of all pesticides, the maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample, and the total number of pesticides found on a given commodity. The result is a pretty comprehensive picture of how likely or unlikely the crop is to contain pesticides.
Looking through this year’s Dirty Dozen, the thing that most stands out is that these are mainly fruits and vegetables with thin skins, which makes sense because their thin skins make them more vulnerable to pests. So if you’re at the store an easy cheat is to be wary of thin-skinned fruits and veggies. But what does being wary mean and what should you do with the Dirty Dozen? What you shouldn’t let it do is deter you from eating fruits and vegetables. Eating a few pesticides isn’t nearly as bad as depriving your body of the nutrients it gets from fresh produce. Instead, use the list as a way to focus your grocery budget. Organic can be a little more expensive, so use the Dirty Dozen to determine which foods you should spend a little extra on and which ones you can let slide.
So what’s on the Dirty Dozen? Click though to see.
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