What is the Dirty Dozen?
These are fruits and vegetables that have been tested for the amount of pesticide residues in certain fresh crops and since most foods in Dubai have been imported mainly from Europe and US, it is important to know what to select for your children and family. Going organic can be very expensive in Dubai especially compared to the UK. When I lived in the UK for over 20 years, I really didn’t appreciate that farms were just down the road growing lovely fresh organic vegetables. Now that I am a mother living in Dubai, organic really means a lot to my family. I am relieved that demand for organic in the UAE has boomed and the last 2 years has seen a growth of organic vegetable markets. There are several options like Ripe Market and Greenheart Organic Markets that also offer home deliveries that sell more affordable vegetables and fruits.
If your budget is tight focus on buying organic with the Dirty Dozen listed below whilst buying conventional from the second group below (The Clean Fifteen). Please note however that this list does change so please check it directly with the website for more up-to-date lists.
Quoting from the EWG.org website
Some interesting facts
- Every sample of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, followed by apples; 99% of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
- The average potato had much higher total weight of pesticides than any other food crop.
- A single grape tested positive for 15 pesticides. The same was true for a single sweet bell pepper. Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes and sweet bells peppers tested positive for 13 different pesticides apeice.
‘EWG analysed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S.Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for these popular fresh produce items. All 12 items are listed below from worst to best. (lower numbers = more pesticides)’
Dirty Dozen 2013
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
- Nectarines – imported
- Sweet bell peppers
The Clean Fifteen for 2013
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Sweet Potatoes