Environmental Working Group and Dr. Andrew Weil Announce 2010 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides

The Enironmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its 2010 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides. (Note: This guide is NOT for shoppers who want to BUY pesticides, but rather for those who want to AVOID them in their food.)

The guide is divided into two groups: The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen. The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables with the highest concentration of pesticide residue (unless they're organic); and The Clean Fifteen are those with the lowest.

EWG is partnering with the venerable Dr. Andrew Weil to educate the public about these lists. In the above video, he emphatically states that unless he can get organic versions of the Dirty Dozen, he avoids them altogether. "Pesticides are toxins," Weil explains. "A lot of these chemicals are toxic to the nervous system; others may disrupt endochrine funciton of the body; they may increase risks of cancer and other chronic diseases." He also says if budget limitations prevent some shoppers from buying organic food, they then should only buy the fruits and vegetables among the Clean Fifteen. He adds, "We should all be trying to take action to minimize our exposure to pesticides."

Do you think you know which group your favorite fruits and vegetables are in? Compare The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen against your shopping list; you may be in for a surprise or two.

The Dirty Dozen

  1. Peaches: #2 on The Dirty DozenPeaches: #2 on The Dirty DozenCelery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Kale
  10. Cherries
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes (imported)

And here's The Clean Fifteen:

  1. Avocado: #2 on The Clean FifteenAvocado: #2 on The Clean FifteenOnions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mango
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew Melon

For more information, visit EWG's Food News web site, where you can download a printable Shopper's Guide of your own.


Shari Manolas Danielson is editorial director at Simple, Good and Tasty.
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