About this time last year, I shared with you 2011's Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 and how I integrate this list into my Paleo shopping. There have been subtle changes to the 2012 list as you can see below. (click to enlarge)
The Dirty Dozen are the 12 fruits and veggies that test for the highest levels of pesticide residue, so it is recommended you buy these as organic to minimize the amount of pesticides you may ingest. The testing is conducted by the Environmental Working Group. In 2012, they have added two to the list that may contain pesticide residue of special concern, hence the "plus".
Conversely, the Clean 15 are the fruits and veggies that have the lowest levels of pesticide residue. Why is it important to you? Well, buying organic can become EXPENSIVE. Not everyone can participate in a farm share or go to a local farmer's market and haggle a deal. Unless there is a sale, I feel perfectly comfortable buying the Clean 15 as non-organic.
I want to note that the Dirty Dozen is merely a recommendation. Adapt it how you wish. I, for example, can't seem to find organic kale anywhere. I think it is much more beneficial to eat the non-organic kale (washing it extremely well, of course) than to eliminate it from my diet for a bit of pesticide residue. I am comfortable with this decision and feel the health benefits of eating the kale outweigh the risk of the pesticides. I don't want to cut off my nose to spite my face.
So I hope this helps you make those tough decisions in the grocery store and I applaud you all for taking responsibility for what you put into your bodies. After all, "the food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” -Dr. Ann Wigmore