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Environment Group Releases ‘Dirty Dozen’ Produce List

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Stephanie Lucero
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Don’t pick up that piece of fruit just yet, a Washington, D.C. based environmental group wants you to know what to look out for in the produce section.

Leigh Logan shops for fruits and vegetables that are known to be low in pesticides and she chooses items that are organic.  So this year’s Dirty Dozen list, released by the Environmental Working Group, illustrates what Logan says she knew all along; that apples are one of the fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticide residue.

“I buy conventional bananas but just about everything else I buy organic” says Logan.  “It’s more expensive but I think it’s worth it.”

The Environmental Working Group lists the 12 fruits and vegetables that it says contain the most pesticides.  This year’s Dirty Dozen list is:

1. Apples
2.  Celery
3.  Strawberries
4.  Peaches
5.  Spinach
6.  Nectarines – imported
7.  Grapes – imported
8.  Sweep bell peppers
9.  Potatoes
10.  Blueberries – domestic
11.  Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens

The EWG says it bases its findings on analysis done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“I think it’s helpful and I’m glad they come out with it every year” says Logan.

Tyler Hunt and Lauren Landreneau shopped for fruit today at Farmers Market in Dallas. Hunt says he was surprised to find strawberries near the top of the list.

“I have strawberry smoothies pretty much every morning” says Hunt.  “I’m going to go home and take a scrub brush to them but I’m still going to eat the same” he says.

Meredith Ratliff, Registered Dietician for Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas, says she doesn’t recommend foods grown with pesticides for pregnant women or children, but Ratliff says there no conclusive proof that these foods are harmful to healthy adults.

“I would rather see you eat a conventional apple or a conventional strawberry, rather than avoid them altogether because you cannot afford the organic version” says Ratliff.

The EWG also has a list of fruits & veggies they’re calling the ‘Clean Fifteen’ – take a look:
Clean Fifteen 2011

1. Onion
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet Peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplants
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

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