2012 Dirty Dozen List — via ewg.org

Asparagus - one of the "Clean Fifteen"

The 2012 Dirty Dozen List has arrived! Every year, the Environmental Working Group (one of my favorite non-profit organizations) tests over 50 types of produce to determine which fruits and vegetables contain the highest concentrations of pesticides. When trying to decide the best way to spend your organic food dollar, this list should be your go-to guide!

What tops this year’s list? Apples and celery, two of the most commonly consumed types of produce. The good news is that even mainstream grocers are now stocking organically grown versions of both these foods nearly year round.

In addition to the Dirty Dozen, the EWG also releases a list called the Clean 15. These are the types of produce that typically contain the least amount of pesticide residue. When grocery shopping, you can be confident that even the conventionally grown versions of these goods are going to be safe for your family.

To help stay within your family’s food budget, try purchasing a mix of produce from both lists to balance out the price of more costly organic foods. For example, when making a fruit salad, try serving organic strawberries and blueberries mixed with conventionally grown kiwi and cantaloupe. This is an easy way to stretch your dollar without increasing your family’s exposure to neurotoxic pesticides.

You can view the Environmental Working Group’s complete 2012 report, or download a .pdf or app for your smartphone, here.

Making a commitment to purchase the Dirty Dozen organically is a small but simple way to make this your family’s most tasty and healthy summer yet!

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  1. I love this list, I keep it on my phone. Thanks for letting us all know the new list is out!

    • Me too! Love having it on my phone! Enjoy the new list…I’m most excited about cherries coming off the top 12, especially since the organic ones have been hard to find so far this year!

  2. I finally figured out why sweet potatoes are not on the list and potatoes are…it’s b/c potatoes have more predator insects so they need to be sprayed–a lot.


    • Interesting! You’d think that the bugs would prefer the sweeter flavor. I do know that you’re not supposed to plant potatoes near tomatoes or corn do to the bugs they bring.

  3. Katie, is there some kind of natural veggie/fruit wash that can be used when organic is not available?

    • We use a 1:1 ratio of filtered water to white vinegar. This is also what we use for countertops, kitchen table, cutting boards, and the microwave. Any place really that food touches directly before going into our mouths. 🙂 Peeling non-organic produce is also a great way to remove what it has been sprayed with.

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  1. […] produce, and to learn how to avoid these frankenfoods at the big box stores. You can also read this post about the 2012 Dirty Dozen list to learn more about the Environmental Working Group and why I think their work is so […]

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