Expanding their annual list, the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research organization, has released its eighth annual "Dirty Dozen Plus" and the companion list, the "Clean 15," ranking fruits and vegetables based on levels of pesticide contamination.
Researchers for the EWG analyzed data from pesticide residue tests that the USDA and FDA conduct on fruit and vegetable samples that have been washed and/or peeled prior to testing.
Even despite the name "Dirty Dozen," which ranks the most heavily sprayed crops, the organization says the benefits of adding fruits and vegetables into your diet on a daily basis far outweighs the risks associated with pesticide exposure from eating contaminated fruit.
This year's Dirty Dozen list includes the addition of some items that the EWG says did not meet the Dirty Dozen standards, but "were commonly contaminated with organophosphate insecticides," chemicals which EWG says are toxic to the nervous system and while not banned, are not common in agriculture, but still appear on foods including green beans, kale and collard greens.
The full list:
The Dirty Dozen
3. Sweet bell peppers
6. Imported nectarines
11. Domestic blueberries
And on the "Dirty Dozen Plus" list:
From the Organic Authority Files
The Clean 15
2. Sweet corn
6. Sweet peas
11. Domestic cantaloupe
12. Sweet potatoes
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger