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“Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen”, What Organic Products Should We Be the Most Concerned About Buying?

When it comes to fruits and vegetables it all depends on the use of pesticides for that year's harvest

Organic products are on trend right now, therefore we consume them thinking they are ‘healthier’ for our bodies, so, should we be buying everything organic?

The answer is yes and no. When it comes to fruits and vegetables it all depends on the use of pesticides for that year's harvest.

“Nearly 75 percent of non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful pesticides,” said the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that aims to create a clean and healthier environment for all.

Nonetheless, not everything non-organic is bad for you, there are some fruits and vegetables that are harvested with little to no pesticides.

Since 2004 the EWG has analyzed the collected data about the quality of foods with the most and least pesticides for every year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

The EWG stated that everyone can be negatively affected by pesticide consumption, potentially leading to cardiovascular diseases, infertility, and in worst cases mortality. But findings were most concerning for children because they are particularly more vulnerable to pesticides.

For these reasons, the EWG presented this year's “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists to inform us all about the fruits and veggies that are the cleanest and dirtiest.

The 2023 Dirty Dozen

According to the EWG, out of 46 items that were tested these were the dirtiest:

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens

4. Peaches

5. Pears

6. Nectarines

7. Apples

8. Grapes

9. Bell and hot peppers

10. Cherries

11. Blueberries

12. Green beans

Important highlights from the study:

● There was a total of 210 pesticides found in all the items
Kale, collard, mustard greens, hot peppers, and bell peppers were found with 23 pesticides. Out of the list, those were the ones with the most pesticides.
● A pesticide that was banned in 2011 was found in 6% of the green bean samples.

The 2023 Clean Fifteen

These were found to have the lowest amount of pesticides:

1. Avocados
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapple
4. Onions
5. Papaya
6. Sweet peas (frozen)
7. Asparagus
8. Honeydew melon
9. Kiwi
10. Cabbage
11. Mushrooms
12. Mangoes
13. Sweet Potatoes
14. Watermelon
15. Carrots.

Important highlights from the study:
● Almost 65% of these products had no detectable residue of pesticides.
● With less than 2% of samples with traces of pesticides, avocado, and sweet corn were the cleanest.

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