Come take my quiz to see how well you know the dirty dozen.Take the Quiz
I'm all about having a little help when I go shopping. I use my Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch pocket guide to know what fish at my market is sustainable. And since I can't afford to buy everything organic, I try to stay away from conventional produce that is high in pesticide contamination and choose their organic counterparts instead.
The Environmental Working Group came up with two lists to help shoppers know what to look for when buying produce. The "clean 15" is made up of conventional produce that's low in pesticides, and the "dirty dozen" are foods that you should always buy organic. Heidi Kennedy, who is behind the cute crafts blog My Paper Crane, turned these lists into the handy pocket guide seen here. I've already printed one out and laminated it so that I always have this guide on me whenever I might be shopping.
Mothers looking to detoxify their children's diets should consult the dirty dozen list of produce items that contain high levels of pesticides even after washing. Experts advise that since foods like strawberries and raspberries absorb the chemical sprays like sponges, it's best to buy organic. But, if your grocery budget can't stretch to accommodate a full cart of pricey items, find some relief in the Clean 15 — the fruits and veggies that have the lowest amount of pesticides and can be purchased in the lower cost conventional varieties. Before you head out to the store to stock up, see which edibles made the list, read more