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In our last blog, we finished up the list of “The Dirty Dozen,”  those fruits and veggies that, even after being washed and peeled, retain the highest amounts of pesticide residue.  Now, we want to give you the “Clean Fifteen:” Produce that has the lowest amount of pesticide residue.  If you’re looking to cut your grocery bill safely, the items on the “Clean Fifteen” list might help.  So, here goes!

Onions:  Onions are the squeakiest of all!  Less than 1% of onions tested had any pesticide residue.

Sweet Corn:  98% percent of all frozen and fresh corn samples had no detectable pesticide residues.  If you’re concerned about GMO’s, do your research.  GMO’s are very common in corn and not taken into account when determining the “Clean Fifteen.”

Pineapples:  Only 6 different pesticides were found on pineapples.  Not too shabby.

Avacado:  Avacados have thick skin that protects the fruit from pesticides.

Mango:  Mangoes, like avocados, are protected by their thick skin, but you should still wash them before you dive in with your knife.

Asparagus:  Asparagus isn’t plagued by as many pests as other fruits and veggies, and so, requires little pesticide.  Eat up!

Sweet Peas:  These little gems are the least likely vegetables to contain pesticide residue according to the Environmental Working Group.

Kiwi:  Ever heard the term “saved by the skin of their teeth?”  Kiwi may not have teeth, but their skin saves them (and you) from the effects of pesticides.  Give them a rinse and then enjoy!

Cabbage:  Your cabbage isn’t swimming in pesticides because (luckily!) it doesn’t require a lot of chemicals to grow.  You will find it chock-full of beta-carotene though, so eat up!

Eggplant:  A thick skin does more than protect your feelings—it keeps your eggplant safe from pesticide contamination.  And it’s purple!  How often do you get to squeeze that color into your food rainbow?

Papaya: The pesticides used on papaya stay on the skin, so wash, peel and eat!

Watermelon:  We just have one word for you: rind.  Just try getting through that thing!

Broccoli:  Fewer pest threats mean fewer pesticides.  Apparently, bugs agree with children: Broccoli is not a treat.  Though we happen to disagree.:)

Tomato:  In 2008, tomatoes were on the “Dirt Dozen” list and now they’re hanging out with the “Clean Fifteen.”  What happened?  The Environmental Working Group doesn’t seem to understand either, but lately, tomatoes are coming up clean.

Sweet Potatoes:  This super food comes up super clean! Enjoy your vitamin A and beta carotene.

At the end of the day, the farms that produce these “Clean Fifteen” veggies are more than likely still using pesticides, whether on these items or others that they grow, and pesticides seep into ground water and otherwise damage ecosystems.  So, give a thought to the earth and seek out local, organic produce whenever possible.  At Brown Bag, we look as close to home as possible for the produce that goes into all of our food, and we believe firmly that organic is best.  You’re eating clean at Brown Bag.:)