Are Your Fruits & Vegetables Dirty?

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 1 minute

There’s no doubt that fruits and vegetables are a crucial part of a healthy diet. But conventional farming techniques may expose fresh produce to an array of hazardous pesticides. Which foods are the “dirtiest?” Read on to find out where your favorite fruits and veggies stand.

Are your vegetables Dirty?


According to the Environmental Working Group, these two lists make up the “dirtiest” and “cleanest” fruits and veggies of 2011:

Dirty Dozen (foods with the highest amounts of pesticide residue):

1. Apples

2. Celery

3. Strawberries

4. Peaches

5. Spinach

6. Nectarines (imported)

7. Grapes (imported)

8. Sweet bell peppers

9. Potatoes

10. Domestic blueberries

11. Lettuce

12. Kale/collard greens


Clean 15 (foods with the lowest amounts of pesticide residue):

1. Onions

2. Sweet corn

3. Pineapples

4. Avocado

5. Asparagus

6. Sweet peas (frozen)

7. Mangoes

8. Eggplant

9. Cantaloupe (domestic)

10. Kiwi

11. Cabbage

12. Watermelon

13. Sweet Potatoes

14. Grapefruit

15. Mushrooms

Because of the unknown effects of pesticides, those who may benefit the most from organic produce include pregnant women and young children.  However, it is important to remember that “organic” doesn’t mean spotless. Whether you buy conventional or organic, always wash each item thoroughly before consuming or cooking. And remember, any fruit or veggie is better than none at all – make sure you get 5 or more colorful servings per day!