The ‘Dirty Dozen’

Bet you didn’t know your food was ranked for its harmful effects, but it is. And it’s not the food itself that’s a problem, it’s the chemicals and pesticides it’s sprayed with that can cause damage to your body.

If you ever wonder if it’s worth it to buy organic produce, the Environmental Working Group takes the work out of the question for you. They create a list every year ranking fruits and vegetables by the amount of pesticide residue they contain. Called the “Dirty Dozen,” the list advises consumers which items they should avoid unless they’re organically produced without chemicals and pesticides.

The group says you can cut your exposure to harmful pesticides by 80 percent simply by buying organic when purchasing these 12 fruits and vegetables. They worst offenders, in order, are:

1. apples

2. celery

3. sweet bell peppers

4. peaches

5. strawberries

6. imported nectarines

7. grapes

8. spinach

9. lettuce

10. cucumbers

11. domestic blueberries

12. potatoes

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