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Do You Know the Dirty Dozen List?

Happy (almost) spring!

While I typically enjoy the seasons of autumn and winter best, I also find spring to be a lovely season. One of my favorite things about spring is the return of farmer’s markets and stands. If you’ve been on my blog before, you know I am a fan of eating organically and farmer’s markets are a great place to find organic produce and products while also supporting local farmers and businesses.

With all that being said, eating organically is sometimes more expensive and not always a feasible option for families. The debate between organic verses non-organic foods, unfortunately, typically evolves into a larger conversation about economic disparities in communities. This conversation is not shocking considering that a half gallon on non-organic milk costs about $2.99, and a half gallon of organic milk costs $4.59. (I am comparing the prices of milk at a conventional grocery store in Monmouth County, New Jersey.) This is a huge price difference.

In my family, we pick and choose which organic products to prioritize. Therefore, I am thankful that the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists are readily available.

What are the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” Lists?

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” list that display products that consumers should avoid or seek out depending on their pesticide residue levels. In plain English: these are the foods with the most and least amounts of pesticides on them.

My family typically buys from these lists. No, not everything we consume is organic, but we try our best and these lists by the EWG help us make good decisions on our grocery lists.

The Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

I took the liberty of making an easy-to-read chart of the two lists. One of my favorite places to buy these organic products are at farmer’s markets. Yes, you can get most of these organic products at conventional grocery stores, but we also love supporting local farmers and businesses. (I know I said this before, but I really like hammering this point across. Shopping local and small has been especially important in our communities since the beginning of the pandemic!)

The Dirty DozenThe Clean Fifteen
spinachsweet corn
kale, collard, mustard greenspineapple
grapessweet peas (frozen only!)
bell & hot pepperscabbage
honeydew melon
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