The (Environmental Working Group) EWG publishes an annual rating of conventional produce with the most and least pesticide residues ~ The Dirty Dozen.


EWG has published it’s 2014 annual guide to help people eat healthier and reduce their exposure to pesticides in produce. With the EWG Shopper’s Guide, know which conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables test low for pesticide residues. When you want foods that test high for pesticides, you can opt for organic. This list allows you to regulate your spending and save money on your grocery bills. The information is designed to help you know which foods you should absolutely purchase organically (dirty dozen) and which foods you can save money on by purchasing the conventionally grown (clean 15). It is an important subject to help us all know how to protect our bodies and families by avoiding toxic overload of pesticides.



The American Academy of Pediatrics, issued an important report in 2012 that said that children have “unique susceptibilities to [pesticide residues’] potential toxicity.” The pediatricians’ organization cited research that linked pesticide exposures in early life and “pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.” It advised its members to urge parents to consult “reliable resources that provide information on the relative pesticide content of various fruits and vegetables.


Each of these foods contained a number of different pesticide residues and showed high concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce items.


EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ for 2014


– the produce least likely to hold pesticide residues – are



with these produce items relatively few pesticides were detected, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticides.



Notable findings:


  • Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent of avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.
  • Some 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues.
  • No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen™ tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides.
  • Detecting multiple pesticide residues is extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen samples had two or more pesticides.



Dirty Dozen PLUS™


For the third year, EWG has expanded the Dirty Dozen™ with a Plus category to highlight two foods that contain trace levels of highly hazardous pesticides. They do not meet traditional Dirty Dozen™ ranking criteria but were frequently contaminated with insecticides that are toxic to the human nervous system.

EWG recommends that people who eat a lot of these foods buy organic instead.


  • Leafy greens – kale and collard greens
  • Hot peppers




Genetically engineered crops

Most processed food typically contains one or more ingredients derived from genetically engineered crops.

But GE food is not often found in the produce section of American supermarkets.

A small percentage of some vegetables are Genetically Engineered (GE)


  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • sweet corn
  • Hawaiian papaya


Others GE foods are currently being tested in the U.S. and may be approved by the USDA in the future. The U.S. law does not require labeling of genetically engineered produce, which is why the Living Fit Lifestyle does not include processed food items AND we recommend you shop at your local farmer’s market; get to know your farmers! We cannot control how our food is produced, but we can vote with our dollars and make our voices heard by supporting our local farmers and investing in our health by consuming organic produce whenever possible.


The EWG advises:


people who want to avoid GE crops to purchase organically-grown foods or items bearing the “Non-GMO Project Verified” label. EWG recommends that consumers check EWG’s Shopper’s Guide To Avoiding GE Food, which is designed to help them identify foods likely to contain genetically engineered ingredients.