What are the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen?

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

Not all foods are created equal – wholefoods and superfoods included. I’ve spent most of the day researching pesticide use across the UK (which does in no way represent the fresh produce supplied in most supermarkets, the majority of which are shipped in) and stumbled across the Environmental Working Group’s great guide to pesticidal use on food.

Their guide essentially lists what they call the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen”. These are the two lists of fruits and vegetables that have been the most and least exposed to pesticides – and while their work may be predominantly based in the U.S., it’s a good guideline to how our food matches up.

It’s also good to note that while I do advocate buying organic produce and local produce at that, it’s not always possible – normally they are a lot more expensive and also harder to come by. So with these lists you can prioritise which foods you should really be getting with an organic certification, and which you don’t need to fret about.

Dirty Dozen

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

Clean Fifteen

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Aubergine
  10. Kiwi fruit
  11. Cantaloupe melon
  12. Sweet potato
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms


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