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Environmental Working Group: 2020 Shopper's Guide

I was so excited when the Environmental Working Group released their 2020 Shopper's Guide! What is the EWG Shopper's Guide? Read on to find out!

2020 dirty dozen
2020 clean fifteen foods

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases two reports that are highly anticipated by nutrition professionals, health practitioners, foodies, and and anyone else interest in nutrition and best food practices. These reports are named the EWG's Shopper's Guide and includes their Dirty Dozen food list and their Clean Fifteen food list.

The Dirty Dozen is a list of 12 foods that have been studied and found to have the highest pesticide residue from farming or production practices. While the residue levels remain below safety guidelines, it is still important for consumers to be aware and to make informed decisions about what kind of produce they purchase and consume. It is my recommendation that consumers choose "organic" when purchasing these dirty dozen fruits and vegetables, if possible. If purchasing at local farms or farmers markets, it may be possible that the farming practices are indeed organic, but that no such label has been purchased as the process to become Certified Organic is lengthy and very expensive.

The Clean Fifteen, conversely, is a list of 15 foods that have been found to have the lowest pesticide residue. You can still purchase these organic if available, but you can also feel better about purchasing these from conventional practices (i.e. non-organic).

If you don't have access to organic foods (e.g. your stores don't carry them or you they are too pricey for your budget), it is my opinion that you should still eat these fruits and vegetables. The health benefits generally outweigh the health consequences if you're consuming the dirty dozen foods from conventional practices. What you could do as well, is to work in some foods that, organic or not, are not on the dirty dozen list. Ultimately, all decisions are yours to make, but now you're a more informed consumer and that can make all the difference!

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