My goal involves a hammock, a vegetable patch, and a solar-powered house. And I hope to eventually get there.
Our favorite fruit topped the dirty dozen list again this year, strawberries. “Gasp, drops biscuits”.
What is the Dirty Dozen List?
Every year since 2004, the Environmental Working Group ( a nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental organization) compiles and ranks pesticide contamination in 47 popular fruits and vegetables for its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. The Dirty Dozen are the most contaminated fruits and vegetables.
This list does not mean that you shouldn’t eat these fruits and vegetables, it simply means be mindful of where you buy these vegetables and consider organic reputable sources. Or you could grow your own, which would be more fun! We shop at a local farmers market and know the strawberry farmer works hard to keep our strawberries clean.
Another helpful hint is to always wash your vegetables!
My favorite fruit & veggie wash is super simple – mix 2 cups of cold tap water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Put in a mason jar and gently wash those fruits and vegetables before you toss them in the refrigerator or in your salad!
If you look closely at the list, you will notice that thinner skinned fruits and vegetables and fruits and vegetables that you eat the skin have topped the list again.
The 2018 Dirty Dozen List
- Strawberries – One strawberry sample contained an astounding 22 pesticide residues.One-third of all conventional strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides.
- Spinach – 97 percent of conventional spinach samples contained pesticide residues.Conventional spinach had relatively high concentrations of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide.
- Nectarines – Nearly 94 percent of nectarine samples contained two or more pesticides.One sample of conventionally grown nectarines contained residues of 15 pesticides.
- Apples –90 percent of conventional apples had detectable pesticide residues.80 percent of apples tested contained diphenylamine, a pesticide banned in Europe.
- Grapes – Grapes contain an average of five pesticide residues.More than 96 percent of conventional grapes test positive for pesticide residues.
- Peaches -More than 99 percent of conventional peaches had detectable pesticide residues.An average of four pesticide residues were detected on conventional peaches.
- Cherries – An average of five pesticides were detected on conventional cherries.30 percent of cherry samples contained iprodione, a pesticide not allowed in Europe, which may cause cancer.
- Pears – Pears contained several pesticides in relatively high concentrations, including insecticides and fungicides.More than half of conventionally grown pears tested had residues of five or more pesticides.
- Tomato – Nearly four pesticides were detected on the average conventionally grown tomato.One sample of conventional tomatoes contained 15 different pesticides and breakdown products.
- Celery –More than 95 percent of conventional celery samples tested positive for pesticides.A maximum of 13 pesticides were detected on a sample of conventional celery.
- Potato – Conventional potatoes had more pesticide residues by weight than any other crop.One pesticide in particular, chlorpropham, makes up the bulk of pesticides detected on potatoes.
- Sweet Bell Peppers – Almost 90 percent of conventional sweet bell pepper samples contained pesticide residues.Sweet bell peppers can contain fewer pesticide residues than other Dirty Dozen foods, but the pesticides tend to be more toxic to human health.
- Hot Peppers –Nearly three-quarters of hot pepper samples contained pesticide residues.Hot peppers are on the Dirty Dozen Plus list because they contain traces of highly toxic pesticides.
On the positive, the Environmental Working Group also creates a lesser-known companion to the Dirty Dozen: the “Clean 15” guide to produce containing the least amount of pesticides. And thick skinned Avocados topped the clean list again this year!
EWG helps protect your family from pesticides! I just donated $15 and the EWG is sending us a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ bag tag! You can donate here.
You can also download their Free Shopping Guide Printables to toss in your reusable grocery bags to take with you!