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  • Kelly Carter

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen


The “Dirty Dozen” refers to the fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticides. Organic produce can be very intimidating for some people - especially the prices. It is unfortunate that "organic" has become such a buzz word now a days. In my opinion organic food should be known as natural and everything else should be labelled as contaminated!

Now if you are concerned with the quality of produce you are consuming the dirty dozen list is a great place to start becoming aware of the foods that will most likely cause the most damage to your digestive system, and ultimately your health. Washing your produce with clean water will help to minimize the amount of residue! And what I personally try to purchase is locally grown food as well to minimize the travel time of the produce.

These foods should be purchased organic if possible.

  1. Apples – at least 99 % have residue

  2. Strawberries – contained 13 different pesticides each

  3. Grapes- contained 15 different pesticides

  4. Celery- 13 different pesticides per sample

  5. Peaches

  6. Spinach

  7. Sweet Bell Peppers

  8. Imported Nectarines – every sample tested positive for pesticides

  9. Cucumbers

  10. Cherry Tomatoes – contained 13 different pesticides each

  11. Imported Snap Peas – contained 13 different pesticides each

  12. Potatoes – had more pesticides by weight than any other food

The “Clean Fifteen” refers to the produce with lower levels of pesticides - generally the fruits and vegetables that have a thicker skin to it. This produce can be purchased in the conventional/local areas of supermarkets. All of the Clean Fifteen had less than four different types of pesticides. Only 5.5% of the Clean Fifteen tested positive for 2 or more pesticides. This means that they are safe and the risk is so low that it is not worth purchasing these organic.

  1. Avocados – cleanest produce with only 1% having detectable residue

  2. Sweet Corn

  3. Pineapples – 89% had no residue

  4. Cabbage

  5. Frozen Sweet Peas

  6. Onions

  7. Asparagus

  8. Mangoes – 88 % had no residue

  9. Papayas – 80% had no residue

  10. Kiwis – 82 % had no residue

  11. Eggplant

  12. Grapefruit

  13. Cantaloupe – 61% had no residue

  14. Cauliflower

  15. Sweet Potatoes


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My Organic Heart

Tel: 905-806-5034

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