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The EWG's 2023 Reveals its Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists

There's been changes you should know about!

As consumers, it is crucial to be mindful of what we eat, especially the fruits and vegetables that we consume. While a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, it is equally important to understand that certain produce items are more prone to contamination with harmful chemicals and pesticides. Knowing the "Clean 15" and "Dirty Dozen" can help us make informed choices about when to choose organic.

The Clean 15 lists fruits and vegetables least likely to be contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals. It's important to know that blueberries were added to the list this year, and this is what the EWG had to say-

  • The EWG reports that blueberries, in addition to strawberries, pose a problem as 90% of blueberry samples contained toxic pesticide residues, including pesticides that have been linked to cancer and nervous system damage.

  • The samples were found to contain 54 different pesticides, including neonic pesticides which are known to harm bees and have been linked to neurological damage in children. (Source: *1

Green beans were also added: One big reason was acephate. This pesticide has been banned but has now been found on green beans at over 500 times the EPA's suggested "safe amount." These amounts were found in beans grown in the U.S. and out of the country.

The best way to clean these fruits and veggies: Before you clean produce in your sink, make sure your sink is clean.

  1. Vinegar and water- Fill your sink with water and add one cup of vinegar. Let soak for 10-20 minutes. Drain and rinse produce.

  2. Baking Soda and water- Fill your sink with water (about 2/3 of the way) add one tsp of baking soda for every 2-3 cups of water you think are in the sink. Let soak for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse.

  3. Use an Ozone machine like this one from Therasage

Use this link to purchase the therasage ozone technology for an easy and very effective way of cleaning your produce


Let's look at the lists-

This list is compiled of the produce that has the least residue present in sampling. It's important to note that Sweet corn and papaya are GMO crops, so you may want to purchase organic. The EWG testing only shares that there were NO pesticides present.

The Clean 15 for 2023 includes:


2. Sweet corn*

3. Pineapple

4. Onions

5. Papaya*

6. Sweet peas (frozen)

7. Asparagus

8. Honeydew melon

9. Kiwi

10. Cabbage

11. Mushrooms

12. Mangoes

13. Sweet Potatoes

14. Watermelon

15. Carrots

While these fruits and vegetables are usually safe to eat, it's important to note that they may contain residual pesticides or other contaminants. Thoroughly washing them before consuming is still crucial, even if they're not labeled as organic.

The Dirty Dozen for 2023 includes:

The Dirty Dozen is a list of fruits and vegetables most likely to be contaminated. These lists are compiled yearly by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that advocates for consumer health and safety.

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens

4. Peaches

5. Pears

6. Nectarines

7. Apples

8. Grapes

9. Bell and hot Peppers

10. Cherries

11. Blueberries

12. Green Beans

Note- These fruits and vegetables are more likely to be contaminated with pesticides and other harmful chemicals, so buying organic versions of these foods is best whenever possible. If you can't afford to buy everything organic, focus on these 12 items first.

If you are just getting started on cleaning up the toxins in your home, this could be a great way to start. Because buying organic can be expensive, having these lists handy is helpful. You can decide when to choose organic and then be confident to purchase conventional products knowing there are fewer or no pesticides.

To cut down on costs, you can

  1. Buy in-season produce. Organic produce is less expensive when it's in season.

  2. Look for sales! Sometimes you can get great deals on freezable fruits and veggies, like peaches, nectarines, pears, zucchini, etc.

  3. Go for frozen if you need to purchase organic produce out of season!

Reducing your body's toxic load is a gateway to better overall health. However, this information should not create fear. Non-conventional fruits and vegetables are still better than ultra-processed foods. Do your best and make changes where you can.

Until next time!


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