It sounds like the title of a bad movie, but it isn’t. These are the names of two rather useful lists put together by a US environmental group*.
The ‘Dirty Dozen’ lists the dozen or so fruit and veg that you that you should categorically avoid like the plague UNLESS you are eating them organically. If you do this – and eat normal, non-organic fruit and veg the rest of the time – you will reduce your exposure to pesticide residues by a whopping 80% (and also presumably save a bunch of cash by not having to buy everything organic).
The ‘Clean 15’, on the other hand, lists the non-organic fruit and veg LEAST contaminated by pesticide use; eat as much of them as you can.
So, without further a-do…
The Dirty Dozen – actually, it’s been re-named ‘Dirty Dozen Plus’ as they’ve extended it to 14, rather than 12, fruit and veg – listed in order of contamination:
Hot chilli peppers
Kale and all leafy green veg
The Clean Fifteen – listed in order of least contamination
Cantaloupe melons (the delicious ones with orange flesh)
Sugar Snap Peas (frozen)
Remember that this is data gleaned from the US so it’s not wholly accurate for Asia/the UK, but it’s certainly a start. The lists were actually published last year, but I’m a little slow on the uptake. There should be a 2014 version later this year.
*Environmental Working Group analyses US Department of Agriculture data about pesticide residue and ranks foods based on how much or little pesticide residue they have.
Here’s the latest update on both lists (issued a few months after this post was written). Click here to see it.
Image courtesy of New Gen