In a perfect world, all produce would be grown organically and we wouldn’t have to worry about consuming pesticides or other chemicals. Since it isn’t a perfect world, here is the most recent Environmental Working Group’s report on the most contaminated produce, know as the Dirty Dozen, and the least contaminated fruits and vegetables, referred to as the Clean 15.
Picking and choosing organic produce
Though organic varieties of most fruits and vegetables are available, not everyone has access to them or can afford to follow a 100 percent organic diet. Experts recommend that if you can’t buy all organic fruits and vegetables, to at least buy organic when it comes to the Dirty Dozen, and be less concerned about organic fruits and vegetables on the Clean 15 list.
Dirty Dozen (Buy these organic)
The Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables have the highest pesticides residue, based on data compiled by the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Nectarines (imported)
- Grapes (imported)
- Sweet bell peppers
- Blueberries (domestic)
- Kale/collard greens
Clean 15 (Lowest in pesticides)
The Clean 15 contain the least pesticide residue, meaning if budget or availability is an obstacle to buying organic, you can buy conventionally grown varieties of these fruits and vegetables.
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet potatoes
Use the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists to inspire you to seek out organically grown produce when possible, and to find innovative recipes to use all of the fruits and vegetables on the lists in a single week. As a vegan, your diet is based on produce, meaning you should be able to easily incorporate these fruits and vegetables into your weekly meal planning.