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  • Melissa McLane

Dirty Dozen & Clean 15


The Environmental Working Group (EWG) evaluates fruits and vegetables to determine their overall pesticide exposure. The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 help consumers prioritize foods that are most important to purchase organic when trying to limit pesticide exposure.


The lists are determined by evaluating six factors and scoring each item. The Dirty Dozen are the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide loads. The Clean 15 are the 15 fruits and vegetables with the least pesticide residue.


The EWG also added a “plus” category to their Dirty Dozen to include select foods that contain trace amounts of highly hazardous pesticides. These don’t meet the traditional standards to be on the list yet are included as a plus due to insecticide contamination.


DIRTY DOZEN: (Always choose organic)

  • Strawberries

  • Spinach

  • Nectarines

  • Apples

  • Grapes

  • Peaches

  • Cherries

  • Pears

  • Tomatoes

  • Celery

  • Potatoes

  • Sweet Bell Peppers

CLEAN 15: (Doesn't have to be organic)

  • Avocados

  • Sweet Corn

  • Pineapples

  • Cabbages

  • Onions

  • Sweet Peas

  • Papayas

  • Asparagus

  • Mangoes

  • Eggplants

  • Honeydews

  • Kiwis

  • Cantaloupes

  • Cauliflower

  • Broccoli

*NOTE: This is the most up-to-date list for 2018 but please be sure to check the EWG website (www.ewg.org/foodnews/) regularly for annual updates to these lists.

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