What You Should Be Growing: The 2014 Dirty Dozen

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What You Should Be Growing: The 2014 Dirty Dozen

Have you heard the term dirty dozen floating around? Have you wondered what it was all about? A group called the Environmental Working Group has set about to test the amounts of pesticide residue on the foods we eat. They were created to inform the American public about pesticides where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fails to. Every year the EWG shares the Dirty Dozen, produce which contains the highest amounts of pesticide residues, and the Clean Fifteen, produce which contains the least amounts (or no) pesticide residues.

2014's dirty dozen and clean fifteen. You can grow many of these! Wouldn't it be fabulous to enjoy these foods you love without the fear of pesticide residues?

Why should I care?

As discussed earlier, pesticides have a very negative effect on our native bees and the environment, but that’s not all. Pesticides have been known to harm children’s brain development [EFSA Report]. Pesticides may play a part in ADD and ADHD [Chlorpyrifos Factsheet]. Women exposed to DDT are five times more likely to develop breast cancer [Chemical Trespass]. Seeing a dear friend fighting breast cancer, that just isn’t a risk that is worth it to me.

This Year’s Dirty Dozen

2014's dirty dozen and clean fifteen. You can grow many of these! Wouldn't it be fabulous to enjoy these foods you love without the fear of pesticide residues?

The lower the number, the “dirtier” it is…

#1 Apples

Can be grown in gardening zones 3-8. Dwarf varieties can be grown on small properties.

#2 Strawberries

Can be grown in gardening zones 3-10. Considered ornamental and can be used as edible landscaping.

#3 Grapes

Can be grown in gardening zones 2-10. Plants trained to grow vertically take up very little space. Also considered ornamental.

#4 Celery

Can be grown in gardening zones 2-10. Hard to transplant and intolerant of heat, celery may be best to get from a local farmer.

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#5 Peaches

Can be grown in gardening zones 5-8. Dwarf varieties can be grown in containers.

#6 Spinach

Can be grown in gardening zones 3-9. It’s quick rate of growth makes it ideal for succession planting.

#7 Sweet Bell Peppers

Can be hard to grow in cooler climates. May be best to get from a local farmer.

#8 Nectarines (Imported)

U.S. nectarines did not end up on the clean or dirty list. Just make sure you are purchasing native nectarines.

#9 Cucumbers

Can be grown in gardening zones 4-11. Trellised cucumbers require very little space.

#10 Cherry Tomatoes

Can be grown in gardening zones 2-10. Perfect for container gardens and one plant produces enough tomatoes for at least two people.

#11 Snap Peas (Imported)

Can be grown in gardening zones 3-11. One of the easiest vegetables to grow. Container friendly.

#12 Potatoes

Can be grown in gardening zones 1-7. Although they take a bit of space, the taste and texture is far superior to store bought potatoes.

2014’s Clean Fifteen

Avocados
Sweet Corn
Pineapples
Cabbage
Sweet Peas
Onions
Asparagus
Mangoes
Papayas
Kiwi
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Sweet Potatoes

What does this have to do with gardening?

You can grow many of the dirty dozen! Wouldn’t it be fabulous to enjoy these foods you love without the fear of pesticide residues? Many are easy to grow. Some can even be grown in containers.

Pull out your containers, make some space in the garden.  These are the things you should be growing.

2014's dirty dozen and clean fifteen. You can grow many of these! Wouldn't it be fabulous to enjoy these foods you love without the fear of pesticide residues?

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Comments

What You Should Be Growing: The 2014 Dirty Dozen — 4 Comments

  1. I have long followed the dirty dozen list, but silly me, it had never crossed my mind to use this as a planting guide for my garden. Thankfully, we already have many of these but putting a few more on my garden planting chart. What a great idea, and thanks for providing the most recent “dirty dozen” list along with your post!

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