The Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen Foods

Dirty Dozen / Clean Fifteen Foods

The Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen is a report generated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) listing the most contaminated and the least contaminated fruits and vegetables in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tests produce samples periodically. In 2014, USDA tests found a total of 146 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetable samples. The pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables, even after being washed and, in some cases, peeled.   For more information and to download a handy wallet card to take while shopping, visit:


The “Dirty Dozen”

These were found to be the most contaminated 15 fruits and vegetables, in order of most contaminated. Eat, buy or grow the following ORGANIC:

  1. Strawberries                                                 9. Tomatoes
  2. Apples                                                         10. Sweet Bell Peppers
  3. Nectarines                                                   11. Cherry Tomatoes
  4. Peaches                                                      12. Cucumbers
  5. Celery                                                          13. Hot Peppers
  6. Grapes                                                         14. Kale
  7. Cherries                                                       15. Collard Greens
  8. Spinach


The “Clean Fifteen”

These were found to be the least contaminated conventional fruits and vegetables; okay to buy and eat conventionally (i.e. non organic) if not available in the organic variety.

  1. Avocados                                                       9. Papaya *
  2. Sweet corn *                                                 10. Kiwi
  3. Pineapples                                                    11. Eggplant
  4. Cabbage                                                       12. Honeydew Melon
  5. Sweet peas (frozen)                                     13. Grapefruit
  6. Onions                                                          14. Cantaloupe
  7. Asparagus                                                    15. Cauliflower
  8. Mangos

* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from GE (genetically engineered, aka GMO) seedstock. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid GE produce.