Produce and pesticides: The dirty dozen and the clean 15

Produce and pesticides: The dirty dozen and the clean 15

Consumer group Environmental Working Group has released its annual Shopper's Guide to Pesticides.

The guide, which is based on government test data, lists the produce most likely to have pesticide residue. This list can be a big help if you're cutting back on organic produce to stretch your food dollars.

The following fruits and veggies - the so-called "dirty dozen" - give you the most bang for your buck if you buy them organically grown: peach, apple, bell pepper, celery, nectarine, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrot and pear.

Carrots and kale are new on the list this year, and potatoes and spinach are now off the list.

The Environmental Working Group also put out its list of "clean 15." These items tend to be lowest in pesticides when grown conventionally. They are: onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, sweet peas, kiwi, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, tomato and sweet potato.

So if you're watching your budget and worried about pesticide intake, you can skip the organic versions of these fruits and veggies.

By the way, bananas dropped off the clean list this year.

And yes, eating produce from the clean list will make a difference. Eat conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables from the dirty dozen, and you'll eat about ten pesticides a day. Eat from the clean list of conventionally-grown produce and you'll eat less than two pesticides a day.