That means “conventional” kale has more potentially harmful pesticides on it than a lot of other fruits and veggies do. So save up your money — or buy in season at the farmers’ market — and opt for organic versions of that dozen.
Kale took spinach’s spot, though since spinach has just dropped to the 14th spot of produce with the heaviest pesticide load, you’d be well off continuing to get your spinach organic certified if you can afford it.
I was most saddened to see that bananas were taken off the “Cleanest 12″ list that recognizes conventionally-grown produce with the least pesticides — until I remembered I get organic bananas anyway. The great news is that the “Cleanest 12″ list has been expanded into the “Cleanest 15″ in this edition. So while bananas are no longer on the list, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and papayas are. Yum!
Avoiding the dirty list and opting for the clean list really will help you decrease the pesticides you ingest by quite a bit. According to EWG’s analysis, “consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80 percent by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating only the cleanest.”
So download the FREE Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides here (PDF). You can also check out the full list of 47 fruits and veggies, plus get the full details on the methodology behind the list if you’re still curious.
Images: Courtesy EWG