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Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 from the EWG's 2024 List

When aiming for a healthier diet, knowing which fruits and vegetables have the highest and lowest pesticide residues can guide your shopping choices. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual list known as the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 to help consumers make informed decisions. Here's a quick guide:


Woman shopping using the EWG Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list. EWG, Organic fruits, organic vegetables, Clean fifteen, Non-GMO foods. Pesticide sprayed fruits and vegetables list.
Shopping with the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list is easy.

The Dirty Dozen (2024)

These are the fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues. It's recommended to buy these organic:

1.       Strawberries

2.       Spinach

A picture of ripening strawberries. Strawberries are heavily sprayed with pesticids. Organic strawberries are healthier.
Fresh, organic strawberries.

3.       Kale, Collards, and Mustard Greens

4.       Grapes

5.       Peaches

6.       Pears

7.       Nectarines

8.       Apples

9.     Bell & Hot Peppers

10.  Cherries

11.  Blueberries

12.  Green Beans




The Clean 15 (2024)

These have the lowest pesticide residues, making them safer to buy non-organic:

1.       Carrots

2.       Sweet Potatoes

3.       Mangoes

4.       Mushrooms

5.       Watermelon

A picture of a ripe sliced avocado.
Avocados, a healthy fat and low in pesticide residue.

6.       Cabbage

7.       Kiwi

8.       Honeydew Melon

9.       Asparagus

10.  Sweet Peas (frozen)

11.  Papaya*

12.  Onions

13.  Pineapple

14.  Sweet Corn*

15.  Avocados


Opting for organic versions of the Dirty Dozen can reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides. The Clean 15, however, are generally considered safe to consume in their non-organic form due to their low pesticide residue levels.

 

Notes on the Clean 15:

* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.


Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest produce – less than 2 percent of samples of each showed any detectable pesticides.


Almost 65 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no detectable pesticide residues. Just over 10 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had residues of two or more pesticides. No sample from the first six Clean Fifteen items tested positive for more than three pesticides.

 


Sources

ewg.org - EWG's 2024 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

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