“Nearly 70 percent of the produce sold in the U.S. comes with pesticide residues”
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “Dirty Dozen”, it is a term coined by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) some decades ago. EWG is a non-profit group that specializes in research and advocacy, especially when it comes to toxic chemicals. They were founded in 1992 and have worked to put out a report yearly entitled ” Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce”. The guide highlights fruits and vegetables with the greatest amount of pesticides. Many of the pesticides used are known endocrine disruptors, which can negatively impact several of the bodies hormones leading to hormonal imbalances.
Various studies have been done that show the negative consequences of consuming foods that are laden with pesticides. A 2018 study from the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health Environment and Reproductive Health, or EARTH, found an association between the consumption of foods high in pesticides and fertility.
Another interesting note about the foods on this year’s dirty list is the amazing superfood kale! During their analysis of kale, the EWG found over 92% of samples contained 2 or more pesticide residues and a single sample could contain up to 18 different residues!
With that being said, foods on the dirty dozen list should be purchased with either the USDA Organic sticker or Canada Organic sticker.
Not only does the EWG work hard to create a list of the foods with the most pesticides, they also put out a list called the Clean Fifteen. Of the foods on this list, over 70% were found to have 0 pesticide residues on them. When it comes to the fruits and vegetables on the Clean Fifteen, given that they have the lowest amounts of pesticides they are safe to be purchased conventionally!
Now, on to the list!