Facts about produce – The Clean Fifteen


Since we are on the topic of foods and pesticides, I thought I would share the other side of the equation. Yes, the dirty dozen is the MOST sprayed produce on our supermarket shelves. But, the clean fifteen are also out on the shelves, and those are the LEAST sprayed produce items! If you need a re-cap on the dirty dozen or the harmful pesticides that are on your foods, you can check out my blog here. Otherwise, let’s spit some facts about produce and what the clean fifteen are!

Facts about Produce

First of all, did you know produce is stemmed from the word “producers” because they PRODUCE their own food? Mind. Blown. I obviously knew that plants made their own food, but I never new that the produce we eat was named that for a reason., Maybe I am the last one to know this little tid-bit.

Anyways, I thought it would be fun to share some random produce facts with you. We always get caught up in what is CHEAPEST and FASTEST. But we should really be focusing on what is GOOD for us and FUELS our bodies correctly to make us feel 100%. Cheap food means expensive future. All the processed junk that fills our shelves these days is just going to continue increasing healthcare costs and chronic disease. Food is Americans enemy right now because we want fast and cheap. And REAL food is neither fast to produce or cheap to buy. But, it is 100% worth it in the long run. An extra 10 dollars a week on groceries could be an extra $100,000 in healthcare costs if you end up with diabetes or heart disease. So don’t wait to make these small changes, start now!

clean fifteen

Fun Facts about produce:

A peach is a member of the rose family and will smell sweet when it is ripe.

→ Over 200 million pounds of blueberries are grown each year in North America.

→ Yams and sweet potatoes are NOT the same thing.

→ Avocados that are pear shaped and a “bumpy” texture have the smallest pits.

→ California produces almost all of the broccoli sold in the United States.

→ More tomatoes are consumed than an other fruit or vegetable.

→ The ugli fruit, or Jamaican tangelo, is actually a hybrid of a grapefruit, orange, and tangerine.

 Dishes containing spinach are known as “Florentine” because Florence native (and later Queen of France) Catherine de’ Medici famously enjoyed munching the healthy leaves.

→ The most widely consumed fruit in the US is mango.

Only one in 10 Americans eat enough produce each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

→ If half of Americans increased their consumption of fruits and veggies by a single serving each day, 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented annually.

→ The annoying sticker on your produce can tell you a lot about it. Produce that is conventionally grown has a four-digit PLU code and generally begins with a three or four. Organically grown produce has a five-digit code and begins with a nine. Genetically modified produce has a five digit code as well, but the first number is an eight.

2018 Clean Fifteen

Now onto the good stuff. The clean fifteen are produce items that are sprayed the least with pesticides and do not NEED to be bought organic. As I stated in my last blog, you don’t ever have to buy organic if you are in a pinch. Just make sure you are washing everything before you eat it. It is recommended that you buy the dirty dozen organic when you can, but it is much more important that you buy and eat vegetables in general, not that they are organic.

#1: Avocados

clean fifteen

#2: Sweet Corn

clean fifteen

#3: Pineapple

clean fifteen

#4: Cabbage

clean fifteen

#5: Onions

clean fifteen

#6: Frozen sweet peas

clean fifteen

#7: Papayas

clean fifteen

#8: Asparagus

clean fifteen

#9: Mango

clean fifteen

#10: Eggplant

clean fifteen

#11: Honeydew

clean fifteen

#12: Kiwi

clean fifteen

#13: Cantaloupe

clean fifteen

#14: Cauliflower

clean fifteen

#15: Broccoli

clean fifteen

Notice the pattern here…produce with a thick/durable peel are the safest non-organic options!

How to clean your produce

If you cannot buy organic, you can always wash your produce before consuming it (which you should even if it is organic). Washing doesn’t just mean rinsing it under water and giving it a little “rub down”. I mean really washing it with either an all-natural produce cleaner, or one you make yourself.

White vinegar is a great for cleaning fruits and veggies! Just place it in bowl of cold water and about 1 cup of vinegar and let produce soak for an hour before cleaning it off and preparing it!

Salt rinse also works! You can add your veggies to a bowl of water and add abut 1-2tbsp of salt. Let them soak for about 5 minutes, rinse the salt and you are good to go!

Another popular DIY wash is mixing 1 cup water, 1tbsp lemon juice and 1tbsp baking soda. Mix it all in a bowl and you can just use it as a wash rather than a soak.

There are also commercial fruit and vegetable washes as well. You do want to make sure that whatever you are using does not have any chemicals in it, because that would defeat the purpose! There are a few great brands out there like, Dr. Mercolas, Thrive Market, and Welleco just to name a few. My personal advice is to just make your own. Much more cost effective and it takes no special ingredients!


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Haley Rowe July 7, 2018