Meet the “dirty dozen”: Produce with the most pesticides

When it comes to picking produce in the grocery store, we don’t always think about how clean our fruit and vegetables really are. Luckily, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) produces a list of the dirtiest and cleanest produce so consumers know exactly what is going into their shopping carts and on their kitchen tables.

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While we’re not surprised that some leafy greens made the list (they are, after all, a major source of food-borne illness), we were surprised to see potatoes made the “dirty dozen”, while sweet potatoes made the “clean fifteen”. No matter what you buy in the produce aisle, it’s always important to wash your fruits and veggies at home. Consider this a reminder (we certainly will!).

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2013 Dirty Dozen
1.  Apples
2.  Celery
3.  Cherry tomatoes
4.  Cucumbers
5.  Grapes
6.  Hot peppers
7.  Nectarines (imported)
8.  Peaches
9.  Potatoes
10.  Spinach
11.  Strawberries
12.  Sweet bell peppers

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Enough with the bad news. There are plenty of produce options that are well-cleaned and relatively free of harmful pesticides. Check out the 15 cleanest produce items for 2013:

2013 Clean Fifteen
1.  Asparagus
2.  Avocados
3.  Cabbage
4.  Cantaloupe
5.  Sweet corn
6.  Eggplant
7.  Grapefruit
8.  Kiwi
9.  Mangos
10.  Mushrooms
11.  Onions
12.  Papayas
13.  Pineapples
14.  Sweet Peas (frozen)
15.  Sweet potatoes

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Click here to read the full USDA Pesticide Data Program report.