Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen Explainer + Shopping Tips | You Versus Food | Well+Good

Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen Explainer + Shopping Tips | You Versus Food | Well+Good

– I know these food puns are corny, but aren’t I a-maize-ing? Hi, I’m Tracy Lockwood Beckerman. I’m a Registered
Dietitian in New York City and it’s my job to help you
figure out what to eat and why. Today we’re discussing something that’s been in the news a lot lately and it’s a big reason as to why we’re all trying to buy and eat more organic foods. That’s right, I’m talking
about the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists. Who made this list? How did they make this list? And why is it so important? Find out on this episode
of You Versus Food. (upbeat music) The Environmental Working
Group, AKA the EWG, releases these lists each year, which identify the
produce that are the most and least likely to be contaminated by pesticides or contain
pesticide residue. Pesticides, by the way, are
substances used to zap bugs and other organisms that make
it harder for plants to grow. Zing, zing, zing. And often times they’re
made of stuff that we humans don’t want to ingest along with our food. Conventional, non-organic agriculture uses large quantities of pesticides on the fruits and veggies we eat everyday, and the EWG wants to keep us safe when we’re munching on our fave crudités. Hence the list. (upbeat music) Each year the EWG collects
over 40,000 samples on 47 different fruits and
veggies sold in the U.S. They compile their data by first peeling and washing the produce and then using six different measurements
of pesticide contamination. They then come up with a composite score for each type of produce, which sorts them into the
“cleanest” and “dirtiest.” (upbeat music) Drum roll, please! (hands drumming) The Dirty Dozen! Strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes. And, the Clean 15! Avocados, sweet corn,
pineapples, frozen sweet peas, onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, cauliflower, cantaloupe, broccoli, mushrooms and honeydew melon! (loud inhale) Whoa! These lists are unbeleafable! While the order of the foods on the list have changed a bit, the
majority of the foods included have remained the same since 2015. Strawberries have held their top spot in the Dirty Dozen list for
four out of the past five years. So if there’s one fruit to buy organic, it’s definitely strawberries. Sorry strawberry shortcake,
but you taste better organic. While many foods on the Dirty Dozen have remained consistent,
kale has come out of nowhere and landed at the number
three spot in 2019 after being absent for nearly 10 years. Kale, one of the most
popular health foods today, is now among the most contaminated
fruits and vegetables. Don’t kale my vibe! With more than 92% of kale samples detected with pesticide residue. (finger snapping) Oh kale no! (upbeat music) The EWG’s 2019 report
stated that nearly 70% of produce sold in the U.S.
comes with pesticide residue. Think how much this affects the food we consume every single day! These lists are important
because they help shoppers navigate the produce aisle in pursuit of reducing pesticide exposure, while equally keeping
cost and health in mind. They’re not meant to scare you, they’re meant to empower you! Think of the list as your
own personal watchdog that can help guard your grocery list. (upbeat music) Okay, so reading the Dirty Dozen list can definitely be a little intimidating. Let me give you some RD approved
tips for grocery shopping. I got you honey boo boo! No matter what, clean the
exterior well of any produce, whether it’s Clean 15 or Dirty Dozen. Specifically it it’s a food
where the outside is consumed. Some folks swear by
using plain white vinegar for cleaning produce with a skin, but I’ll leave that one up to you. Look out for berries and
other foods with crevices where sediment can deposit and live. You’ll probably want to
let them soak in water for a longer period of
time before consuming. If a food on the Dirty Dozen list has an exterior that is
removed before eating, don’t be scared to
sometimes buy non-organic. Just clean and rinse
super well before eating. Buy organic when you can, but don’t put too much pressure on buying all organic all the time. Your wallet may take a
hit without needing to. Try picking half your
groceries from the Dirty Dozen and half of them from the Clean 15. Good for your health and your budget. If you can’t afford organic products, try and natural produce cleaner, which will remove a large
portion of the added pesticides. Or opt for more frozen organic produce to prevent faster
spoilage and ensure usage. (upbeat music) Choose organic when you can, but if not, just clean
your produce thoroughly. Your health is important
but so is your budget. And ideally, your shopping
strategy can accommodate both. Don’t assume that just
because produce is on the Dirty Dozen list that you
should not buy it or eat it. Repeat after me: Eating fruits and vegetables in general, regardless of dirty or clean, are better than not eating
fruit and vegetables at all! The produce you eat, mo
matter what it may be, contains boatloads and
boatloads of health bennies. It’s unbeleafable, oh! This will never change in
the world of nutrition, no matter what the report
says from year to year. See ya on the flip side
for another episode of You Versus Food. If you subscribe to
Well+Good’s YouTube channel, you and I are gonna
live appley ever after. (upbeat music ending) I am avocontrol!

5 thoughts on “Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen Explainer + Shopping Tips | You Versus Food | Well+Good

  1. You're a damn imbecile if you don't mention any meats that you should always buy organic, and i can easily tell you why
    1. None/significantly less antibiotics used
    2. Bio availability is higher in organic meats

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