WHAT ARE THE “CLEAN FIFTEEN?”
Everyone loves getting some good news every now and then. And when this information helps us to save and eat well on a budget, it pretty much doesn’t get better.
There is no doubt that eating organic foods makes sense for our health and the environment but let’s be honest, it can get a bit expensive. So when the Environmental Working Group, a US-based public interest and research advocacy organisation focused on protecting public health and the environment, publishes its annual list of foods that you don’t need to buy organic, our wallet doesn’t get hit, our budget stays on track and we’re happy bunnies. Not to mention that eating more fruits and vegetables now gets easier.
So let us introduce you to the “Clean 15,” a compilation of fruits and vegetables that contain the lowest levels of pesticide contamination and ranked from the cleanest to the not as clean.
You can think of them as your favourite relatives – the ones that encourage you to pick healthy food options without any guilt or snarky comments – the exact opposite of the “Dirty Dozens.” Remember those? The 12 worst food offenders and most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables that you should know about and try and buy organic?
The great news is that the “Clean 15” list is pretty consistent from year to year. In fact, the 2015 results are the same as in 2014. That’s because the outer layer of skin in something like an avocado or sweet corn acts as a protective defense. You sadly can’t say the same about apples, peaches or strawberries.
The 2015 findings, which consider how people prepare and wash fresh produce, are based on tests performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013 on over 3,000 samples.
Highlights from the 2015 EWG report:
- It is the same list as in 2014. Nothing has changed.
- Avocados are the cleanest – only 1% of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
- No residues were found in 89% of pineapples, 82% of kiwis, 80% of papayas, 88% of mangoes, and 61% of cantaloupes sampled.
- No single fruit sample from the Clean 15 tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides.
“Clean Fifteen” 2015 list (in order of least contamination)
2. Sweet Corn
5. Sweet peas (frozen)
15. Sweet potatoes
By our online editor Chantal Ouimet