Each year for the past 10 years, The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health releases one of its most valuable pieces of research - A Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
EWG analysts use U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration (USDA) pesticide-residue testing results as a basis for ranking 48 different fruits and vegetables. The total number of pesticides detected on a crop and the percent of samples tested with detectable pesticides are also factored in. Pesticides have been linked to a number of health problems, including certain cancers and lower IQ in children.
The EWG Dirty Dozen are the foods that carry the highest amount of pesticide residue and other toxic agricultural chemicals and should always be purchased organic. Keep in mind when you head to your local Farmers Market that purchasing your fruits and veggies at a Farmers Market does not mean they were grown without pesticides or chemicals. Only Certified Organic farmers can make this claim. Ask before you buy.
The EWG Clean 15 are foods that are lowest in pesticides and you do not "have to" buy organic if you are on a budget (and who isn't?). Look for these when you are out and about and looking to grab a snack.
Thanks, Lynne F. for this blog topic idea!