Ron,Ron,Ron via photopin

Ron,Ron,Ron via photopin


It can be cost prohibitive to buy all organic fruits and vegetables each time you’re at the market. So how do you decide which fruits and vegetables to buy organic?

The Environmental Working Group has created a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables (Dirty Dozen) and eating the least contaminated produce (Clean 15).

Each year the Guide is updated to include the most recent information. The 2012 Shoppers was expanded to include the Dirty Dozen with a Plus category to highlight two crops — green beans and leafy greens, meaning, kale and collard greens – that did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but were commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides.

Here’s the list of the Dirty Dozen Plus. Try to buy these organic whenever possible.

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines-imported
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries-domestic
  12. Potatoes


  • Green beans
  • Kale/Greens

EWG also created a second list called the Clean 15, which includes fruits and vegetables that have the lowest amounts of pesticides after a typical washing, whether or not they’re certified organic.  Choose the Clean 15 when buying conventional produce.

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe-domestic
  12. Sweet Potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

When you head out to the market it’s simple to remember these lists- download a PDF version of the guide or an app for your smart phone.

Don’t forget to eat your fruits and veggies!

Lori is Manilla’s green-living expert. Read more about living a green and clean life on Lori’s blog, Groovy Green Livin, or on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+ or LinkedIn

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