The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists (see below) can help you avoid as many pesticides as possible, even when you can’t buy organic. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the most pesticide-laden produce, while the Clean 15 is a list of the fruits and veggies that contain the smallest traces of pesticides.
Both lists are published by the Environmental Working Group each year, an organisation that educates people about chemicals found in food and household products.
Dirty Dozen 2020
These foods contain the most traces of pesticides (when grown conventionally).
Most of the foods on the Dirty Dozen have thin skin that’s easily permeable, allowing more pesticides to be absorbed into the flesh.
Clean 15 2018
Most of the produce on the Clean 15 list contained little to no traces of pesticides when tested. None of these foods tested positive for more than four pesticides.
- Sweet frozen peas
Although the Clean 15 foods contain the least amount of pesticides, they are still grown using non-organic methods, which often strips the soil of nutrients and pollutes waterways. Organic farming is about more than just pesticides; it’s about building healthy soil, supporting water health, and encouraging biodiversity.