Eating for Fertility: The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15

Below is a fantastic Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides put out by the Environmental Working Group. Buying organic can be expensive, however using this list helps you to know what things are best to buy organic, and which ones are lower in pesticides and can be purchased non-organic. They also answer the question of “will washing or peeling help?”

If you are new to buying organic, might I also suggest looking into buying a share in a co-op. Co-ops work with local farmers and provide fresh (right off the farm) local organic produce on a weekly basis. Although your cost is all upfront, it is usually less than you would spend going to the grocery store every week (and much healthier and tastier)! You can visit Local Harvest to find resources in your community.

EWG’S SHOPPER’S GUIDE TO PESTICIDES

DIRTY DOZEN™  Buy These Organic

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Cherries
  10. Kale/Collard
  11. Greens
  12. Potatoes
  13. Grapes (Imported)

CLEAN 15™  Lowest in Pesticides

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangos
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew
  16. Melon

 Why Should You Care About Pesticides?

The growing consensus among scientists is that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood. Scientists now know enough about the long-term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides.

What’s the Difference?

EWG research has found that people who eat five fruits and vegetables a day from the Dirty Dozen™ list consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat from the 15 least contaminated conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily. The Guide helps consumers make informed choices to lower their dietary pesticide load.

Will Washing and Peeling Help?

The data used to create these lists is based on produce tested as it is typically eaten (meaning washed, rinsed or peeled, depending on the type of produce). Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling helps, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the skin. The best approach: eat a varied diet, rinse all produce and buy organic when possible.

How Was This Guide Developed?

EWG analysts have developed the Guide based on data from nearly 89,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce conducted between 2000 and 2008 and collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You can find a detailed description of the criteria EWG used to develop these rankings and the complete list of fruits and vegetables tested at our dedicated website, www.foodnews.org.

 

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