Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 10% of all income made by The Healthy Tomato is donated to KidsGardening.org to support better nutrition for our youth. I greatly appreciate your support!

Clean Eating Does Not Include Consuming Pesticides

The dirty dozen and the clean 15 is a list developed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), www.ewg.org and Food News, www.foodnews.org.

It highlights the produce that is most effected by pesticides and chemicals and those that are least effected or has less application of the chemicals applied.

According to EWG:

“Nearly 70 percent of the non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful chemical pesticides, according to EWG’s analysis of the latest test data from the federal Department of Agriculture. This year, along with the items on our Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ lists, EWG is highlighting harmful fungicides detected on citrus fruits tested by USDA, as well as in tests we commissioned.

Imazalil, a fungicide that can change hormone levels and is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a likely human carcinogen, was detected on nearly 90 percent of citrus samples tested by EWG in 2020, and over 95 percent of tangerine samples tested by the USDA in 2019.”

Even if you can’t afford to buy all your fruits and veggies organic you may want to know which ones have the highest and/or the least amount of pesticide residues so you can prioritize which you prefer to buy organic and which may “ok” to buy non-organic.

Here is a list as of 2020 according to Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org and Food News, www.foodnews.org

The “Dirty Dozen”

12 Most Contaminated

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Potatoes

The “Clean 15”

15 Least Contaminated

  • Sweet Corn
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Sweet peas(frozen)
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Kiwi
  • Mushrooms


Download this wallet guide to take with you when you shop. 
The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15