The original guidelines summarized in October of 2014 were based on data from 2000-2008. The USDA doesn’t test every food each year, but the latest data stems from testing done since 2009.
The revised dirty dozen are as follows:
1 Strawberries 7 Cherries
2 Apples 8 Tomatoes
3 Nectarines 9 Cherry Tomatoes
4 Peaches 10 Bell Peppers
5 Celery 11 Cucumber
6 Grapes 12 Spinach
Over the past four years, the EWG has developed a Dirty Dozen Plus Category regarding 3 types of produce that contain trace levels of “highly hazardous pesticides”.
1 – Kale
2 – Collard Greens
3 – Hot Peppers
Furthermore, the revised Clean Fifteen are as follows:
1 – Avocado 6 Onions 11 Eggplant
2 – Sweet Corn 7 Asparagus 12 Honeydew
3 – Pineapple 8 – Mango 13 Grapefruit
4 – Cabbage 9 – Papaya 14 Cantaloupe
5 – Frozen Snap Peas 10 Kiwi 15 Cauliflower
It is especially important to take note of the impact of pesticides on young children. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report that cited that children have “unique susceptibilities to pesticides” and cites evidence that links pesticide exposure to chronic health complications in children including neuro-developmental or behavioral problems, birth defects, asthma, and cancer. Children are especially vulnerable because of their stage of development, differences in metabolism, their size, as well as a number of other factors. Furthermore, children’s Immune and nervous systems are still developing well into adolescence.
Guidelines to further reduce pesticide levels in produce are as follows:
Cooking reduces pesticide levels
Throw away outer leaves
Scrub rinds and peel produce
Rinse all produce
Buy organic for the foods most consumed in your home
Continue to consume a varied diet rich in fruit and vegetables to benefit from the wide array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber contained in these foods!