The 2012 Dirty Dozen Plus and the Clean 15: When Buying Organic Does (and Doesn't) Make Sense

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Apples, celery, and sweet bell peppers top this year's "Dirty Dozen," which has been expanded to the "Dirty Dozen Plus" in order to include green beans and leafy greens like collards and kale.

Up to 15 different pesticides were detected on a single sample of grapes, 93 percent of apple samples had traces of two or more pesticides on them, and samples of lettuce sported 78 different pesticides. Cucumbers, a newcomer to the Dirty Dozen Plus, turned up 10 different pesticides on a single sample.

The group also took a look at commercial baby food for the first time.

Conventionally grown items on the "Clean 15" list are generally low in pesticides. "More than 90 percent of cabbage, asparagus, sweet peas, eggplant and sweet potato samples had one or fewer pesticides detected."

See the Environmental Working Group's chart of the 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
(Download guide available.)
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