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The Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

The “Dirty Dozen” is a list the Environmental Working Group’s compiles yearly of the fruits and veggies that contain the highest levels of pesticides! You don’t have to stop eating these foods because they are full of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants we need to battle chronic diseases. Remember most of Americans are vitamin deficient so you don't want to eliminate this food group but instead choose wisely, clean properly & consume in season! The EWG also compiles a list of the “Clean Fifteen” listing produce with the least amount of pesticides. At least 70% of the fruits and veggies on the Clean 15 list had no detectable pesticides, and 5% of items on this list had residue of two or more pesticides. You can buy these conventional and not organic!


FitsLana's Action Items & Tips:


TIP: Check the price and if the organic version doesn't cost a lot more buy it organic.


TIP: Bananas didn't make the Clean 15 but they are close.Organic bananas may cost about twenty cents more per pound.


TIP: Mangoes and Watermelons are very close to the Clean 15 its okay to purchase conventional ones.


TIP: Try an buy organic options of Cucumbers and blueberries they are close to the Dirty Dozen.


Tip: A small amount of corn, papaya and summer squash are made from genetically engineered seeds. Buy organic if you wish to avoid GE food.


Tip: It's okay to buy organic frozen fruit & veggies they'll last longer and are cost efficient.


Tip: Cleaning produce doesn't completely remove chemicals from our produce as the pesticides have grown into the entire plant, but it can reduce your risk and exposure.


Tips for Cleaning Produce

  1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.

  2. If damage or bruising occurs before eating or handling, cut away the damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.

  3. Rinse produce BEFORE you peel it, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable.

  4. Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water. There’s no need to use soap or a produce wash.

  5. Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers.

  6. Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.

  7. Remove the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.


Additional Facts & Findings from Environmental Working Group:


FACT: The first six Clean Fifteen items tested positive for just three or fewer pesticides per sample.

Fact: More than 90 percent of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and grapes tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides.


Fact: Kale, collard and mustard greens, as well as hot peppers and bell peppers, had the most pesticides detected, 103 and 101 pesticides in total, respectively.


Fact: A single sample of kale, collard and mustard greens had up to 21 different pesticides.


Fact: On average, spinach samples had 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight as any other crop tested.


Fact: The pesticide most frequently detected on collards, mustard greens and ka

le is DCPA – sold under the brand name Dacthal – which is classified by the EPA as a possible human carcinogen and which was banned by the EU in 2009.


Fact: Other problematic pesticides on greens include potentially neurotoxic neonicotinoids and pyrethroids.



Fact: Almost 70 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no detectable pesticide residues.


Fact: Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest produce – less than 2 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.





Learn more by digging deeper and taking time to read the full EWG report of all the foods






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