EWG’s Dirty Dozen/Clean 15

–Kristin Vogel, Communications & Education Associate

I don’t think I am alone this year in being especially grumbly when it comes to admitting that yes, our days are getting shorter and cooler.  Luckily, we are still in a time of abundance when it comes to fresh produce at the farmers markets”but this too will be on the decline soon enough.  As we head into the autumn wind-down, it’s a good time to examine our choices when it comes to eating local and organic.

In a perfect world, we would all eat local, organic fruits and vegetables every day and have equitable access to sustainable meats and grains.  It’s certainly easier, and usually cheaper, to eat organic in the summertime, when the getting’s good.  Then, slowly, fresh produce becomes less abundant, and before you know it much of it is flown in from South America, New Zealand, and beyond.

My go-to resource when I’m forced into making a choice whether or not to buy organic, is Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 guide.  This guide has been around for a few years now, and provides a great way of arming yourself with up-to-date information about which conventional fruits and vegetables should really be avoided if possible.  For those of us with limited budgets, it is a helpful strategic tool to use when buying organically.

Without further ado, here is the 2010 EWG Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 list.  (Remember to always buy local if you have the choice!)

The EWG website has a wealth of additional information”you can download a handy printable pocket version of the list, learn more about how pesticides and other toxins affect health, and view other EWG initiatives, such as their extremely useful “Skin Deep” searchable database that lists harmful chemicals in everyday cosmetic and care products.