15 Dirty Produce Foods You Shouldn’t Eat and 15 That You Should

dirty dozen 2015 Clean 15 2015

If you subscribe to the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” you should probably make sure you’re eating organic.


Because that delicious, and common, fruit is listed as the dirtiest of all plant foods for the year 2015.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just released its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, reporting USDA tests that found a total of 165 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetables samples.

But don’t just beware of Apples. If you’re into peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes, you don’t get a pass either. Those are also loaded with pesticides.

Some of the significant findings from the latest report include:

  • 99% of apple samples, 98% of peaches, and 97% of nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce.
  • A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
  • Single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.
  • Lots of leafy greens also contain many pesticides
  • Avocados have the least amount of pesticides

If you’re interested on more about the report, you can find it here and you can download the full-sized images you see on the right:

Dirty Dozen Produce Foods for 2015

These are the “Dirty Dozen” (although this year EWG lists 15) foods the Environmental Working Group lists as having the most pesticides. If you’re trying to stay away from pesticides, buy these organic if you can:

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

Clean 15 Produce Foods for 2015

These are the foods with the least amount of pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group. If you don’t have the budget for organic, you’re usually safer to buy these foods:

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

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