Environmental Workers Group better known as EWG has released their Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list for 2018, a couple of weeks ago.
And the results of their tests have been astounding; just a couple to begin with: researchers found DDT, a neurotoxic insecticide in spinach, and in an alarming number of samples. (A whopping 40 percent of nonorganic spinach samples, to be exact.) And a single strawberry sample harbored 22 different pesticides.
That’s just crazy, amount of chemicals!
And, now I’m thinking about the conventional (non-organic) strawberries I got from Target last week! I usually always buy organic, but this one time that I didn’t; I decided to check what “rank” strawberries are on the dirty dozen list this year! And I was so awestruck by what I found, I decided to share it with my readers.
What does Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen mean?
Clean 15 is a list of 15 fresh Produce or crops or fresh foods that have the least amount of pesticides and;
Dirty Dozen list of 12 fresh Produce or crops or fresh foods that have the highest amount of pesticide in them!
Every year EWG tests fresh food or produce, to check for the amount of pesticides found in them.
Most of the time both the lists don’t change much since the industry practices remain about the same, but a few items do change every year!
Related: Is Silicone Safe to use in Kitchen?
How to use this Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen Guide for your Family?
It’s best to buy organic for the Dirty Dozen for sure, they’re really, really, REALLY contaminated with huge amounts of pesticides. As high as 97% of the samples for some of the tested Produce was contaminated with over 20 pesticides.
While it’s comparatively safe to buy conventional produce on the clean 15 list.
The only tricky part is some of the produce on clean 15 is genetically modified or GMO. This is done to kill the insects or pests as they try to eat these crops. So technically there is pesticide in every DNA of these GMO foods; so of course, they don’t need to be sprayed with pesticide.
Related: Coconut Water vs Fruit Juice
Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen 2018
EWG’s Dirty Dozen (1)
- Sweet Bell Peppers
EWG’s Clean 15 List: (2)
- Sweet Corn*
- Frozen Sweet Peas
* Most of the sweet corn and Papaya in the United States in Genetically Modified, so it’s best to buy them organic anyways!
Related: Artificial Food Coloring Dangers
#momtip: So, what I’ve realized the first time I started shopping organic is, most foods on Dirty Dozen are bright or dark colored foods, and the food on Clean 15 list is more greeny and pale colored. I guess it relates to the behavior of insects; where insects are more attracted to bright colored foods, and hence farmers have to use more pesticides for the food on dirty dozen than the pale ones on clean 15 list.
BUT, the bright colored foods are very important in our diet, especially kids diet; because they have antioxidants and very high vitamins in them, which are very important for brain function. Which makes it very important to buy organic dirty dozen foods!
Highlights of Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen 2018
The key finding of Dirty Dozen for 2018 (3)
- More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries, and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
- A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.
- The United States Department of Agriculture tests found 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on thousands of produce samples analyzed.
The key findings on Clean 15 for 2018 (4)
- Avocados were the cleanest. Less than 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
- More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions, and cabbages had no pesticide residues.
- Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. Only 5 percent of Clean Fifteen vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.
These lists are not compiled to deter you from eating fruits and vegetables. Eating fresh food is a must, but we need to be more careful about this modern chemical farming.
Using chemicals to kill weeds microbes and bugs is does not just affect their health, it also affects our gut system really adversely. And causes various problems, including food allergies, leaky gut, food intolerances, and so much more.
It also kills the beneficial microbes in the soil.
Pesticides are linked to dozens of health problems, including certain cancers, symptoms of ADHD, autism, Parkinson’s and a whole host of other issues.
We really-really need to be careful what is in the food we offer our kids, since their bodies are just building, and they need as much clean food as possible.