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The EWG’s Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen

This month Thomson & Bancks’ Head of Medical Negligence, Lucy Sherry looks at the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 in our latest “You Matter to Us” blog post offering.

The Environmental Working Group is an American 4* non-profit rated charity whose mission is to save us from eating toxic pesticides in our food and live healthier lives.

They compile an annual list of seemingly healthy foods we should avoid at the current time, unless we buy organic. Those that do not need to be bought from organic producers at this time, they name as the “Clean 15”. They do far more than that of course, for instance, exposing poor farming practices and the condition of an area’s water or soil quality but we can only focus here upon their most famous work.

The “Dirty Dozen”; foods which consumers should only buy if organic during 2017:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples; one of the biggest offenders on this year’s Dirty Dozen list, apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue in 99 percent of cases.
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

Conversely, those fruit and vegetables you do not need to worry about buying non-organic during 2017 are named as the “Clean 15”:

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocados; consistently on the Clean 15 list; reason being, their thick skin blocks out pesticides. Out of 15 fruit and vegetables, avocado samples returned with only one pesticide and the lowest percentage of occurrence — one percent of imiprothrin.
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet Peas Frozen
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Aubergines
  11. Honeydew Melons
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruits

As well as containing less pesticides, those on the Clean 15 list, offer options to consumers who are looking for less expensive, healthier options, listing produce that can be purchased without being organic. However, the produce listed on the Dirty Dozen list, should be purchased organic to ensure the least amount of pesticides are present.

The list changes annually, so it is worth checking on the EWG website for an up-to-date list of contaminated fruit and vegetables, as well as information about other farming and health issues.


See number 8 on the ‘clean 15’ list above? An amazing British vegetable, the Asparagus isn’t just a popular addition to your dinner plate, it’s also the focus of celebrations across Pershore and the local area!

The British Asparagus Festival has grown bigger and better year on year, recognising the world’s finest “gras”. Organising events over a two-month period from 23rd April, the festival hosts the Great British Asparagus Run, Coach Tours and the famous Asparagus Auctions, where the best and freshest local Asparagus is auctioned to raise vital funds.

Here at Thomson & Bancks, we are really looking forward to the events planned over the next couple of months and couldn’t be happier with the engagement the festival earns for the local area, each year. Perhaps we’ll see you there?

What, When and Where?

British Asparagus Festival

April 23rd – June 21st 2017

The Vale of Evesham.

Download this blog post as a PDF here

Lucy Sherry, Solicitor-Advocate; Head of Medical Negligence specialises in medical negligence litigation, previously representing the NHS Litigation Authority and one of the GP Unions. Lucy now works with injured individuals and bereaved families to achieve compensation for adverse outcomes. Lucy has a passion for learning and sharing her knowledge, regularly delivering medico-legal training to lawyers, attending many hours of medical lectures each year to keep abreast of changes in treatments, and gaining an insight into new health and medical findings to share with Thomson & Bancks’ clients and visitors to this blog.

Find out more about the British Asparagus Festival 2017

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