Eating fully organic is a difficult task to achieve and can get very expensive. Plus it’s not always necessary.
There are some fruits and vegetables that have been found to be lowest in pesticides residue, so it’s perfectly fine to buy them conventionally grown and save few pennies in the process. Conversely, certain fruits and vegetables have been pointed out to be especially high in pesticides residue and contain a cocktail of chemicals which you can imagine may have a profoundly negative effect on your health.
Below list “Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen” represents:
- 15 safest fruits and veggies to purchase conventionally and
- 12 worst offenders that you should always try to buy organic.
These lists have been put together by a non-profit organisation Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN). Both organisations are dedicated to protect human health and environment. They collect government data, analyse it and rank pesticide contamination within the produce available to the consumers. This list is usually updated once a year. Here is the most recent one for 2021.
This list is a fantastic tool to help you prioritise the produce you buy and avoid the cocktail of pesticides. Save the below image to your phone for handy shopping! (Right-click on the image to save to your device)
It’s important to keep in mind that washing fruit and vegetables, doesn’t entirely remove all the pesticides from the produce as it gets inside the plant. However, it can reduce the amount of pesticides residue and your exposure so be sure to wash all fresh produce thoroughly. Always wash and scrub fruit and vegetables under running water even if you are not going to eat the peel. Germs present on the skin can get inside the fruit or vegetable when you cut them. Use of soap or washing-up liquid is not recommended. There are special brushes on the market just for that purpose.