EWG’s 2013 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

It’s out! If you’re concerned about the chemicals that are put on produce, this list is a must have.

I typed up a small version of the lists and keep them in my wallet. That way, when I’m grocery shopping, I can check to see what I need to get organic or what I can buy that is conventionally grown.

If you don’t want to have two lists (your shopping list and Clean&Dirty), simply keep the list somewhere in your kitchen and as you’re making your grocery list place a big “O” next to things you need to buy organic! Tip of the day. 🙂

I love that the Environmental Working Group does the work for me.

But who is the EWG anyway?

According to their website,

The Environmental Working Group is the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization.  Our mission is to serve as a watchdog to see that Americans get straight facts, unfiltered and unspun, so they can make healthier choices and enjoy a cleaner environment. 

They are a non-for-profit organization that runs on donations by other profit-based organizations and individuals.

One of the co-founders and current president actually got his 3 degrees in the same town that I got mine (my 1 degree!). Who knew?

2013 Dirty Dozen (Plus) and Clean 15

Based on the levels of harmful chemicals found on them, these are the items that EWG recommend we buy organic:

Cherry Tomatoes
Hot Peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Sweet Bell Peppers
Kale and Collard Greens (+)*
Summer Squash (+)*

*Denotes produce high in harmful chemicals in addition to the dirtiest 12.

Now, the Clean 15, these are items in which I personally feel comfortable with buying non-organic when the money won’t cover their organic counterparts or when I cannot find organic:

Sweet Corn*
Sweet Peas (frozen)
Sweet Potatoes
*Refer to the following if you try to avoid genetically-modified food.
One that thing that I notice between most of the Dirty v. Clean is that in general the Dirty are things in which (a) we eat just the way they are, skin and all and/or (b) the skin on this produce is thin and won’t protect the actual fruit from pests, thus the assumed need for chemical use. Whereas, things like avocados, eggplant, and pineapple have thick skins that would protect their fruit. Just my observation.

What about GMO’s?

Genetically modified plants, or GMOs, are not often found in the produce section of grocery stores. Field corn, nearly all of which is produced with genetically modified seeds, is used to make tortillas, chips, corn syrup, animal feed and biofuels. Because it is not sold as a fresh vegetable, it is not included in EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Nor is soy, another heavily GMO crop that makes its way into processed food.
The genetically modified crops likely to be found in produce aisles of American supermarkets are zucchini, Hawaiian papaya and some varieties of sweet corn. Most Hawaiian papaya is a GMO. Only a small fraction of zucchini and sweet corn are GMO. Since U.S. law does not require labeling of GMO produce, EWG advises people who want to avoid it to purchase the organically-grown versions of these items. 

Take this information for what you will. In our home we do try to avoid GM food. It’s a concern to us because these products have not been on the market long and the research is conflicting. Also, I do not believe that God intended our food to be modified at the DNA level. It’s not natural and the length with which we hold the truth about the food that goes into our bodies and our bodies is far too great for me to be comfortable with. 

Now, if I were more tech-savvy (or had more time!) I would figure out how to type up a small version of the lists so you could print them from my website and stick into your wallet. That is up to you, my friends.

Do you try to buy the EWG’s Dirty Dozen (Plus) organic? Would you go without something if you couldn’t find it organic?



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