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The Dirty Dozen

One of my favorite organizations called Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been fighting for healthier people and planet since 1993.

For the past 15 years, EWG has done an annual report called the Dirty Dozen which analyzed over 40,000 samples of food, and ranks them from most contaminated with pesticides, to the least contaminated.

Their full list orders almost 50 different popular types of produce in order of toxicity!

The top 12 being the highest sources of pesticide exposure in produce, the idea is that these might be the ones to really consider buying organic. 

I know that not everyone can afford to buy all organic, all the time.

This guide is a great tool to help you prioritize which items are worth the extra spend, and maybe which items you could continue to buy conventional, if you had to. 

At the top is strawberries, then spinach and kale. Those leafy greens and small fruits like berries, get sprayed a ton.

From the EWG site:  "It is important to note that the samples are tested for pesticides after they have been prepared to be eaten. This means the produce has been thoroughly washed and, when applicable, peeled. After these preparations, pesticide residues are still detected on many of the fruits and veggies."

Conversely, what EWG calls the "Clean Fifteen" is the list of the least toxic foods they found.

These are the foods you don't have to worry about as much, if your grocery store only carries conventional varieties. The clean list includes things like avocados, pineapples, and onions

We hope you find this helpful to consciously navigate the produce aisle a bit easier as you head into making all your favorite holiday recipes!


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