The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen

I’m not really interested in debating about should we or shouldn’t we eat organic foods. I know that pesticides are labeled as a poison by the DOT, which is why certain vehicles (i.e. passenger aircraft) cannot transport them, but we put them on food?  People who work closely with pesticides have a number of health problems. The list goes on and on. I believe the evidence proves that it’s something that we need to be doing, but the practicality is still not there for all of us to eat 100% organic. Is there anyone out there that does eat all organic and still has money in their pocket?

I do like the idea of focusing on the foods that have the most pesticides and making sure those are organic. This is where the “Dirty Dozen” list comes in. These are the foods that tested highest in pesticide residues. It makes sense to buy these organic.  The “Clean 15” are the foods that have the lowest levels of pesticides, so buying these conventional won’t hurt.

Here’s something to keep in mind. These lists change, so you have to keep checking them to see what’s shifted. I found that interesting. I don’t know if these lists take into account the country where the produce was grown. That’s something I would think makes the list shift dramatically. I also make sure that any animal products I choose to consume are from organic sources. That doesn’t seem to be on the dirty list.

Still, I’ll be keepping these lists in my purse for easy reference. And I’ll be looking into doing a garden again, because the only way to ensure you eat organic is to grow food yourself.

Print and cut out guide from

Full list of common fruits and veggies tested


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