THE CLEAN 15 & THE DIRTY DOZEN
This list, compiled by the Environmental Working Group, based on FDA and USDA testing of pesticides, can be a great help when deciding if it's worth the extra cost to buy organic.
THE CLEAN FIFTEEN
* The top 15 produce items that are least contaminated by pesticides from conventional farms:
- Frozen Sweet Corn
- Frozen Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
- Honeydew Melon
THE DIRTY DOZEN
* These foods contain the most harmful level of pesticides, when grown on conventional farms.
- Bell Peppers
- Kale & Collards
- Grapes (imported)
BE A STICKER STICKLER: Those pesky little labels on grocery store produce tell a very important story.
- 4-digit PLU codes with numbers in the 3000s and 4000s indicate that these items are 'conventionally-grown' produce, using harmful pesticides.
- 5- digit PLU codes that begin with the number 9 indicate organically-grown produce.
- 5-digit PLU codes that begin with the number 8 indicate genetically-modified produce.
That 'O' stands for organism, which should be enough to scare the pants off you.
Carefully follow these instructions when you encounter GMO produce: Drop that thing like a hot potato and high-tail it to the organic produce section! Your body will thank you.