dirtydozenThe Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list for 2014.

Two-thirds of produce samples in recent government tests had pesticide residues. Don’t want to eat bug- and weed-killers? The EWG has published their annual shopper’s guide, which highlights the cleanest and dirtiest conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables, for more than a decade now to help educate and reduce exposure to pesticides in produce. *** If a conventionally grown food you want tests high for pesticides, go for the organic version instead.

The Dirty Dozen list includes produce that tested positive for pesticide residues and contained a high concentration of pesticides relative to other produce items.  Apples top the Dirty Dozen list, followed by strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes.  This year, hot peppers and kale were added to the list because they contained trace amounts of dangerous toxins, even though they didn’t meet some of the other Dirty Dozen criteria.

To ensure the lowest possible exposure to pesticides, buy foods off the Dirty Dozen list organically whenever possible.  See EWG’s full 2014 report for detailed information and to access the full list of tested produce.