Health Resources Library

2021 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzes the most recent USDA data to compile its infamous Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists. I keep this list on my phone so that when I’m shopping I have a quick reference.

The list is compiled after the EWG conducts a very basic experiment to test for chemical pesticides. The results are compiled from the USDA data on 46,075 samples of 46 of the most popular fruits and veggies after they were washed and peeled.

The lists aren’t meant to be a what’s hot and what’s not of the fruit and vegetables, but rather offer a guide of the foods you should buy organic, and those that may be purchased conventionally grown.

Organic food is more expensive. That’s just a fact. But in our opinion, it is worth it.

When a body is already overburdened by the many dangerous chemicals in our environment the food we eat can be part of the problem when we are having a difficult time expressing health.

So how do we address the realities that it may be outside of our budget to buy everything organic?

I use the list from the Environmental Working Group as my purchase guide. I often buy the product on the Clean 15 list conventionally grown (Non-organic) and those on the Dirty Dozen list I try to always buy organic or often not at all.

EWG’s 2021’S Dirty Dozen

These are the worst offenders on the list, simply because of mainstream agricultural practices. They are ranked in descending order from worst to still pretty bad in crops that are typically treated with the highest volume and variety of pesticides.

As already mentioned, we definitely recommend you buy organic at the grocery store, or at least spray-free when picking these up from your local grower this year.

  1. Strawberry
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  4. Nectarine
  5. Apple
  6. Grape
  7. Cherry
  8. Peach
  9. Pear
  10. Bell and hot peppers (capsicum and chili)
  11. Celery
  12. Tomato

EWG’s 2021’s Clean Fifteen

When you’re shopping for the following foods I still buy organic when I can but because these crops have the least amount of exposure I purchase them conventionally grown (non-organic) every once in a while. These are ranked in descending order from spic & span to still okay.

  1. Avocado
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onion
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Broccoli
  10. Cabbage
  11. Kiwi
  12. Cauliflower
  13. Mushroom
  14. Honeydew
  15. Cantaloupe


**Save this image to your phone for easy reference when shopping!

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