Every year the Environmental Working Group releases a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” as a shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce. This list is based off the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Report which works to identify foods that were grown using pesticides and the amount of residue that still remains on them. The most recent lists for 2018 were just released in time to see if our beloved summer produce is “clean” or “dirty”.
The “Dirty Dozen”
- Sweet Bell Peppers*
The “Clean Fifteen”
- Sweet Corn**
- Sweet Peas**
* These crops are in season this summer and can be seen in high quantities at many grocery stores. Just because these are on the “dirty” does not mean you should stay away from these delicious fruits and vegetables this summer. When purchasing this produce is important to make sure you are purchasing kinds that have been grown with the least amount of pesticides. This will be produce labeled organic in the grocery stores, or produce from farmer’s markets that was grown locally. Also, make sure to wash and thoroughly rinse these items before you eat them. A good natural homemade cleaner for fruits and vegetables is to add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, to one 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray the veggies and fruits and let them sit for 5 minutes before rinsing them with cold water. Scrubbing with a scrub brush can also help remove more excess dirt and pesticides.
**These crops are also going to be in season this summer and thankfully they are on the “clean” list. However, it is still important to choose your produce wisely, to make sure it still was not grown with pesticides, so still look for organic labels on these or pick them up at your local farmers market!
Here is the link to the EWG’s official list: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
Sarah Domino, Penn State Intern