The EWG (Environmental Working Group) have released the new dirty dozen and clean 15 list for 2016! It comes with a few surprises this year with strawberries topping the dirty dozen list and cabbage coming in clean- who would have thought?
For those who aren't familiar with these lists, they're compiled by the EWG each year and rank pesticide contamination on 48 common fruit and vegetables. The resulting guide is based on 35,200 samples tested by the US department of agriculture and the food and drug administration.
The Dirty 12 is fruits and veggies most likely to be contaminated with the highest amounts of pesticides. The Clean 15 is those produce least likely to hold pesticide residues (i.e. only 1% of avocado samples showed pesticide residue).
Strawberries were at the top of the list this year, with researchers finding an average of '5.75 different pesticides per samples for all other produce, according to a new EWG analysis'. Strawberry growers use large amounts of poisonous gases to sterilise the fields before planting seeds, in an effort to kill each weed and pest. The dirtiest strawberry sample found, had 17 different types of pesticide residue present. Many of these pesticides are known hormone disruptors and possible carcinogens. You can read more about the pesticides found on strawberries HERE.
It can be unrealistic and expensive for most people to buy solely organic produce, but these lists provide a helpful guideline, as to what foods will contain the highest residue, and if you can only afford to buy a portion of ur shopping list organic- stick to choosing the ones listed in the dirty dozen :)