Photo of organic strawberries representing the environmental working group EWG 2016 report regarding the dirty dozen 12 and clean fifteen 15

To Eat Organic or Not to Eat Organic; That is the Question.

Are you wondering which produce items don’t need to be purchased organic when on a limited budget? Our graphic based on the Environmental Working Group’s list makes it easy! The “Clean 15” are the produce items that were found to have the least pesticides; therefore we don’t necessarily need to purchase the organic varieties of these foods. The “Dirty Dozen” were found to have the most pesticides and the organic varieties should therefore be purchased as often as possible.

Although sweet corn, papaya and summer squash are all relatively “clean” produce, a small amount of these produce items sold in the United States is produced from genetically-engineered seed stock. This is important to keep in mind when purchasing.

The “Dirty Dozen Plus,” hot peppers and leafy greens such as kale and collard greens, are produce items that don’t meet the criteria to be categorized as “Dirty Dozen,” but¬†were frequently found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system. Scary! We should also eat the¬†organic varieties of these crops as much as possible given our various situations. We’ll update you when a new list comes out!

Update: See the 2020 EWG list by clicking here.

dirty dozen, clean fifteen, dirty 12, clean 15, pesticides, insecticides, GMO, organic