The Dirty Dozen

I know most of us have heard this term before, The Dirty Dozen. It refers to the produce you should ALWAYS buy organic because of the amount of pesticides found on them. Last week I gave my insight into organic and what it really means. Following that trend, I wanted to extend my research on the dirty dozen.

According to tests have found at least one pesticide on 70% of produce collected from the USDA’s annual sample. Obviously pesticide is intended to kill living organisms. They have been linked to a variety of health problems, including brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer and hormone disruption.

By purchasing organic produce, you can help eliminate the exposure to pesticides. Buying organic also sends the message that you support environmentally farming that protects water quality and wild life, as well as safeguard the workers.

The Dirty Dozen helps to educate consumers. It brings awareness to the consumer that these twelve fruits and vegetables are found to have the most pesticides on them, with Strawberries at the top of the list. With this knowledge, we can make more of an effort to buy these fruits and vegetables that are organically grown and to be careful to wash them well.

The Dirty Dozen as listed according to the EWG is as follows;

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

In addition to this list, they also created The Clean Fifteen. The idea is to continue enjoying all of these beneficial fruits and veggies, but to focus on ones with the least amount of pesticides. Let’s be real, we all can not buy organic all of the time.

Here is the list of The Clean Fifteen;

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Sweet Peas Frozen
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbage
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew Melon


Hopefully this can be your new standard of approach when buying produce. Though we can agree organic is better, sometimes it’s more realistic to buy what’s most affordable. Use the list to make your final choices and consider how your purchase will affect your future.

With Love,


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