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The Dirty Dozen vs Clean 15

Apr 04, 10:30 AM

Food and Fitness Fundamentals

Do you often find yourself pondering organic versus conventional produce when shopping at the grocery store? If you are eating non –organic celery today, you may be ingesting up to 67 pesticides, according to a recent report from the Environmental Working Group, a non- profit organization of scientists, researchers and policymakers who focus on public health. The group tested nearly 100,000 samples of produce for pesticide and chemical residue. The result is a list of “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15” in produce.
“The Dirty Dozen” is a list of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that tested positive for 47-67 different chemicals per serving after USDA cleaning using a high-power pressure washing system.
The Dirty Dozen list is as follows:
Celery
Peaches
Strawberries
Apples
Domestic blueberries
Nectarines
Sweet bell peppers
Spinach, kale and collard greens
Cherries
Potatoes
Imported grapes
Lettuce
The Clean 15 list of produce represents conventionally grown non-organic fruits and vegetables that have tested little or no chemical residue after extensive washing. The strong outer skin is believed to be a protective factor against pesticide absorption. The list includes:
Onions
Avocados
Sweet corn
Pineapples
Mango
Sweet pea
Asparagus
Kiwi fruit
Cabbage
Eggplant
Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Grapefruit
Sweet potatoes
Sweet onions
The detriment pesticide exposure plays on human wellness and disease is still being studied. One conclusion that remains strong is that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables far outweigh the risk of chemical exposure. However, next time you find yourself in the produce aisle, you may want to think of “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15”. The study’s authors suggest that by purchasing the organic version of the dirty dozen, you can reduce your exposure to pesticides by up to 80 percent.

For a complete produce list and more information regarding pesticide residue, visit the Environmental Working Group Web site at www.foodnews.org, or contact the Nutrition Services Department at The Corvallis Clinic at 541- 754-1370


Until next time, here’s to healthy eating!

Lori Dodds, RD, LD, is a Registered Dietitian at The Corvallis Clinic Nutrition Services Department.

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