The Cleanest and Dirtiest Produce for Pesticide Residues

How safe are the fruits and vegetables in your supermarket? 

Buying the pricier organic produce to avoid pesticides is probably the safer bet…but you could be spending more than you have to when some of the cheaper conventionally-grown produce may be just as safe to consume.

But how do you know which non-organic fruits and veggies are okay to buy?

That’s where the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes in. They’re an independent consumer advocacy group with a mission to sort out the safer conventionally-grown produce from the fruits and veggies most likely to be tainted with pesticide residue in your grocery store.

Every year the EWG studies the databases of the US Department of Agriculture and the federal Food And Drug Administration to tell you what the government won’t – which conventionally-grown fruits and veggies are the safest to eat, and which ones you should avoid.

In this year’s EWG Shopper’s Guide, the EWG offers consumers two lists to consider: The Dirty Dozen PLUS™ and The Clean Fifteen.™



About The Dirty Dozen PLUS

Samples from each of the foods in the Dirty Dozen contained a number of different pesticide residues in higher concentrations relative to other produce. In fact, 99% of all apples sampled tested positive for pesticides. White potatoes held more pesticides by weight than any other food group. And grapes, celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries tested positive for 13 to up to 15 different pesticides each! It’s probably best to buy organically grown foods that are on this list. [av_sidebar widget_area=’Lockerdome’ av_uid=’av-2faxyn’]

About The Clean Fifteen

Few pesticides were found on the Clean Fifteen foods, and the tests showed low concentrations of residue. Avocados were the cleanest with only 1% showing any pesticide residue. The majority of pineapples, kiwis, papayas, mango and cantaloupe were residue-free. Less than 6% of the Clean Fifteen showed multiple pesticides. The conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables on this list are fairly safe to consume according to the EWG without worrying to much about pesticide residue.

Visit the Environmental Working Group’s website for more information about pesticides and produce, and the current rankings of 48 fruits and vegetables.

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Join the Conversation

  1. Will rinsing the dirty dozen make a big difference ?

    1. It will be helpful, but in some cases the pesticides can get into the roots and contaminates the produce that way too. Peeling your fruits and veggies (those you can) helps too.

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