Food’s Dirty Dozen Vs The Clean 15

Just How Safe Is Your Broccoli?

By Charlotte Carson

The best advice to follow is to go organic when foods are known to have higher levels of pesticides. So it makes sense to avoid food’s dirty dozen. 

If you are still one of the folks that does the trek and still can’t decide whether to buy organic or not, one of the factors to consider is the amount of pesticides that linger on the food we eat.  Research that comes out annually from the U.S. EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce is a good place to review.

The guide is updated every year since 2004, and they rank pesticides contamination on 47 of the most popular fruits and vegetables. The guide is based on results of more than 38,800 samples of produce tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration. They test for pesticides after the produce has been prepared to be eaten. Meaning that produce has been washed, and when applicable, peeled. After these preparations pesticide residues are still detected on many fruits and veggies.

If you see your favourite foods on the Dirty Dozen list, strongly consider buying organic. If your favourites are on the Clean(er) 15 your first choice ideally is go organic but in a pinch you are on slightly safer ground with these items.

Food's Dirty Dozen

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Food’s Dirty Dozen: Non-organic foods shown to have the most pesticides

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Sweet Basil Peppers
  11. Potatoes
  12. Celery


The Clean(er) Fifteen: Non-organic foods shown to have the least pesticide residue

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

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