ConsumerWatch: Which Produce Items Are Worth Buying Organic?

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credit:  Win McNamee/Getty Images

credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A lot of us spend our shopping time wondering whether it’s worth spending extra money for organically grown fruits and vegetables. An environmental group is offering advice with a list of products that contain the most and least chemicals.

The “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15” are the 27 produce items that contain the highest and lowest levels of pesticides, according to the latest data from the USDA.

The Environmental Working Group, the organization that compiles the yearly list, advises always buying organic versions of items on the Dirty Dozen list. It says consumers can feel safe eating conventionally grown versions of the produce items on the Clean 15 list.

Another bit of advice? The Environmental Working Group’s Renee Sharp said, when faced with a choice of a produce item grown in the U.S. or in another country, always pick the one grown in the U.S. because it has stricter pesticide regulations.

“We know that there are a lot of pesticides that are used in other countries that are not approved in the U.S.,” Sharp said.

2012 Dirty Dozen
Apples
Celery
Sweet bell peppers
Peaches
Strawberries
Nectarines (imported)
Grapes
Spinach
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Blueberries (domestic)
Potatoes

2012 Clean 15
Onions
Sweet Corn
Pineapples
Avocado
Cabbage
Sweet Peas
Asparagus
Mangoes
Eggplant
Kiwi
Cantaloupe (domestic)
Grapefruit
Watermelon
Mushrooms

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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