Apr 28, 2010

New Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 Released!

EWG has just released the newest version of it's shopper's guide, which lists the Dirty Dozen--the 12 fruits/vegetables with the highest levels of pesticides and the Clean 15-- the 15 fruits/vegs with the lowest levels of pesticides.  You can get a look at the new list HERE.  There are some new additions to the list.

There has been a lot of discussion lately on the merit of these lists, the Clean 15 in particular.  I think some people feel that it does not encourage people to buy all fruits/vegs organic.

My personal opinion is that this negativity creates a very elitist attitude in regards to organic produce.  It is important that people realize that every purchase is a vote.  When we buy organic, not only does it benefit our health, but it also shares our commitment to organic as consumers.  However, it is not realistic to think that everyone will or can have an all-or-nothing approach to organic food.

The Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 allows people with limited budgets or limited access to organics the power to make educated decisions on what to feed their families. 

I try to buy the Dirty Dozen as organic.  When I cannot find it--or afford it--I try to avoid those things, perhaps substituting with items on the Clean 15.  I also try to consciously highlight as many of those items as I can in my own garden.

When our budget is tight, I often buy items on the Clean 15 in non-organic form.  (Like my avocados I got at Aldi this week for $.25 each!!)  However, when those items are available for a similar or slightly higher price (or when I have a great coupon), I will buy them organic--for my health, and for my vote!

The lists can also be used to help people with limited access to organics learn to utilize more of the Clean 15 in their diets and avoid the Dirty Dozen.

Do these lists effect your shopping habits?

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