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Dirty Dozen or Delicious Delights? A Guide to Smart Produce Choices...

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its updated 2023 Dirty Dozen list, which identifies the fruits and vegetables that are most likely to have pesticide residues. The list is based on USDA data on 46,569 samples of 46 popular fruits and vegetables. After washing, nearly 75% of non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contained residues of pesticides, according to the report.

It is important to note that the EWG's list is not a reason to avoid all fruits and vegetables altogether. Rather, it serves as a resource to help guide produce purchasing habits. Eating a non-organic fruit or vegetable is still a healthier choice than consuming processed foods, and a diet rich in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is always a cornerstone of good nutrition.

Organic produce can be more expensive than conventional produce, making it difficult for some consumers to prioritize buying organic. So specifically buying the following list organic and the rest of your fruits and veggies conventional, can help ease your budget!

2023 Dirty Dozen list:

  • Strawberries

  • Spinach

  • Kale, collard, and mustard greens

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Nectarines

  • Apples

  • Grapes

  • Bell & Hot Peppers

  • Cherries

  • Blueberries (new addition)

  • Green Beans (new addition)

Blueberries and green beans are new additions to the list. More than 90% of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and grapes sampled tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides. Several green bean samples had residues of acephate, a toxic pesticide that has been banned by the EPA for more than 10 years from use on green beans grown for food.

The EWG recommends that consumers prioritize buying organic produce from the Dirty Dozen list whenever possible, due to the high volume and variety of pesticides used on these crops.

However, it is important to keep in mind that eating non-organic fruits and vegetables is still a better choice than consuming processed foods!

In Health & Delight!



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