The Dirty Dozen vs. The Clean 15

Knowing what meals are healthier than others is one thing, but knowing where the ingredients that make up these meals are grown is another. The USDA’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce is great starting point to keep informed on which produce is healthier in terms of being grown with the least amount of pesticides. Nearly two-thirds of over 3,000 samples tested by the USDA in 2013 contained over 160 types of pesticide residue. In an effort to inform the public of which produce to buy and which to stay away from, the USDA published the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15. The Dirty Dozen list contains 12 produce items found to have the highest levels of pesticide. This list includes: apples, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes, and spinach.

While this list shouldn’t push you away from eating these foods, it is recommended to buy the items on this list only if they are “organically” grown. The Clean 15 are produce approved to be bought at supermarkets as they were found with the lowest traces of pesticide. The list includes: onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi fruit, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes and sweet onion.

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