As organic food begins to occupy more and more space in grocery stores, you may have found yourself standing in the produce aisle wondering whether organic produce is worth the price. And if you can’t get organic, or it’s not in your budget, how do you make produce choices that limit your pesticide exposure?
In short, when does organic matter the most?
The Environmental Working Group decided to answer that question by studying the pesticides present on 47 different fruits and vegetables. From that, they released what they called the “dirty dozen” – 12 foods that you should avoid or buy organic whenever possible.
The EWG estimates that you can lower your pesticide exposure by up to 80% by focusing on the low-pesticide foods and/or eating the “dirty dozen” in organic form.
The Dirty Dozen: The 12 Most Contaminated
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (imported)
The Clean 15: The 15 Least Contaminated
- Sweet corn
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potato
You can read the full list of all 47, ranked from highest to lowest, or better yet, there’s a free wallet card to help you remember next time you’re shopping, and even an iPhone app!