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The 2011 Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

fresh produce


Photo by DC Central Kitchen

The Environmental Working Group has updated their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists with recommendations on the fruits and veggies that contain the highest and lowest levels of pesticide residue.

If you can only afford to buy some things organic, you’ll want to prioritize the items on the Dirty Dozen list. I don’t know about you, but I’m really bummed that apples is on there since that’s one of our most common produce purchases!

Here are the 2011 lists:

The Dirty Dozen

1. apples
2. celery
3. strawberries
4. peaches
5. spinach
6. nectarines
7. grapes
8. bell peppers
9. potatoes
10. blueberries
11. lettuce
12. kale

The Clean Fifteen

1. onions
2. sweet corn
3. pineapples
4. avocado
5. asparagus
6. sweet peas
7. mangoes
8. eggplant
9. cantaloupe
10. kiwi
11. cabbage
12. watermelon
13. sweet potatoes
14. grapefruit
15. mushrooms

I’ve also put together a handy cheat sheet you can carry with you! Download and/or print it here. I recommend using cardstock so it will hold up better in your purse or wallet.

Are you surprised by any of the items on these lists?

Show Comments


 

  • I wonder if those levels are before or after washing at home? Any idea? Reply
    DL Harmon June 23, 2011 AT 1:46 pm
     
  • They recommend washing ALL produce, so I believe these are the residual pesticides that are still present regardless of washing. Reply
    Mandi June 24, 2011 AT 6:37 am
     
  • The problem is that you simply can't wash it all off, and it does get absorbed right into the fruit. This is especially true with a lot of thin-skinned fruits, as well as fruits where you eat the skin (often the same, like grapes, strawberries, etc.). Reply
    Tiffany (As For My House) June 24, 2011 AT 2:08 pm
     
  • I don't understand why "potatoes" are on the dirty list and "sweet potatoes" are on the clean list. They grow the same way, have the same skin. And I'm bummed about all the summer fruits on the dirty list. Good thing my strawberry patch is finally producing a decent harvest this year. Reply
    Marisa June 24, 2011 AT 4:08 pm
     
    • You can thank the Colorado Potato Beetle for that. It's a very hard bug to get rid of which means regular potatoes get more pesticides applied. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_potato_beetle Reply
      Darla June 28, 2011 AT 6:44 am
       
  • Some surprises, but a good reminder that you really have to be careful about what you put in your mouth! I often find that at my grocery store organic apples are the same price as conventional. Glad to see asparagus on the clean list - that's expensive enough as it is! Thanks for the great list! Reply
    Jenna June 24, 2011 AT 4:49 pm
     
  • If you think about it, many of the dirty dozens have a longer growing period or season, so it is more likely that they would have more pesticides. Also, corn is genetically engineered so much that pesticides are not the only problem. Shop your local farmers' markets and buy locally or grow as much of your own as possible. It is amazing how many potatoes you get from one hill of potatoes! Reply
    S. Simon June 24, 2011 AT 5:34 pm
     
  • I grow 5 of the dirty dozen list at home. :) Reply
    The Prudent Homemaker June 25, 2011 AT 6:17 pm
     
 
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