Should You Eat Organic Foods? The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15

I think most of us by now have been convinced by the science. Fewer chemicals and pesticides in our food is a good thing. But even if you don’t buy all organic food, you should know there are certain types of produce that are more contaminated than others. This is the “Dirty Dozen” list. And conversely, the “Clean 15” are foods that can be more safely purchased without buying organic. Meaning, they are grown with fewer chemicals because of natural pest and disease resistance. The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 lists are compiled by EWG, or Environmental Working Group. They are a non profit, non partisan group endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the EVG, they “rank pesticide contamination of 47 popular fruits and vegetables. The guide is based on results of more than 38,800 samples of produce tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration.” The lists are updated each year. Here is the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 food lists, updated for 2019!



Should You Eat Organic Foods? The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15


2019 Dirty Dozen Foods

This list of the Dirty Dozen foods is ranked in order of most contaminated to least. Consider buying all of these foods from reputable organic sellers. Remember, pesticides were designed to kill living organisms. And today, often times organic fruits and vegetables are the same, or only slightly more expensive then their traditional counterparts. The scariest part is that as much as we now suspect about how pesticides are damaging humans, we don’t yet know the half of it. Not even a fraction of it.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes (Check out our post on growing tomatoes (organically) with DIY Tomato Cage and Trellis Ideas all over at TGG!)
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes
  13. Bakers Dozen Bonus – Sweet & Hot Peppers


Should You Eat Organic Foods? The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15


2019 Clean 15 List

Consider buying organic foods whenever possible. But when budget or availability don’t allow it, this Clean 15 list of foods will help you decide the safest produce to buy when it’s not organic. Ranked in order of least contaminated to most. (Love those avocados!)

  1. Avocado
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Sweet Peas
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupe
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew Melons

Use the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 lists to help you decide when to buy organic foods. It’s about your health, and the health of the children in your lives. Remember, children’s small bodies accumulate toxins much quicker and from much smaller amounts of pesticides than adults. Choose organic! Want more info? Go to the EWG and read about why you want to buy organic foods, and see the complete report with all the details.

If you really want to develop better eating habits and learn to love good food again, check out ‘Hello Fresh‘ or’Blue Apron‘ ! These fresh food meal kit services have caught on like crazy, and with good reason. And they are so much better for you than fast food or pizza! Great date night idea too.They both have special savings offers for new customers!

Check out our post How to Dry, Freeze and Preserve Herbs so that you can use those organic herbs wisely over at TGG!

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Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates & Steve Bates (co-owners) – Woodard Bates Media LLC consisting of three blogs:, and

Kathy Bates’ previous writing credits include:

Former home decorating expert for Lifetime TV, Galtime and Country Woman Magazine.

Her book spent time at #1 on Amazon’s Home & Garden Topseller List in 2002.

Published or featured in numerous national publications, including:

Country Sampler’s Decorating Ideas magazine, Woman’s Day magazine, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Marketwatch, Decorating Solutions magazine, Decorating Ideas magazine, The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City News, The Oklahoman, Akron Beacon Journal, Pensacola News Journal and The Telegraph.

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