Dirty Dozen And Clean Fifteen 2022

Cadrene Heslop

Do you know what fruits and vegetables have the most and least pesticides on their surfaces?

A nonprofit advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group, did a study. They have released their 2022 annual "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" lists. Data from the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration help determine the categories. (source)

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The list compiled for 2022:

'Dirty Dozen' for 2022

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bell and hot peppers
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes

'Clean Fifteen' for 2022

  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Asparagus
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mangoes
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Potatoes

Why does this research matter?

Alexis Temkin is an Environmental Working Group toxicologist. Temkin said, "There's still, I think, a lot of unknown impacts [of pesticides]. If you're reducing the exposure in the first place. Then the likelihood of adverse health effects occurring is going to be much less."

Teresa Thorne, executive director of the Alliance for Food and Farming. But Thorne explains that the list concerns her. Thorne explains, "Residues on conventional-grown are already so minute if they're present at all. The second thing is that this list has been shown again through peer-reviewed research to negatively impact consumers. When low-income consumers were exposed to this list and some of the messaging in the Dirty Dozen list, they stated they were less likely to purchase any produce, organic or conventional. We have 13 million children living in food-insecure households right now. To scare people away from conventional-grown, which is the more affordable and accessible fruits and vegetables in today's environment, really needs to be better thought through."

What do you think?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and feel free to share this article on social media and with your friends and family.

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