The Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

November 17, 2020

Fruits and vegetables should always be a part of your grocery list. Big contributors to a variety of health benefits, including necessary vitamins, it is important to include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. However, not all fruits and veggies are created equal–especially in the store. When wandering through the produce aisles, they likely have signs stating whether or not the products are organic. While organic food is generally the more expensive route, many people opt for the conventional option to save some money on their shopping trip. Some important information that may be helpful for you to know when choosing your conventional produce is that many crops contain potentially harmful pesticides, even after rinsing, peeling and scrubbing. Studies have shown that a reduction of pesticide exposure links to a variety of health benefits ranging from lower urinary pesticide levels to reduced incidences of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice to know which fruits and veggies are safe to buy the conventional route and which you should always buy organic? Fortunately, there is a yearly list for that!

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWP) releases its annual Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce, aka the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. The Dirty Dozen covers the top 12 foods with the most pesticides as researched and tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration; and the top 15 foods with the least pesticides are called the Clean 15. The USDA washes, peels and scrubs each product before testing, ensuring us that the information is most accurate. Ranking the pesticide contamination across 47 popular fruits and vegetables, this list of the cleanest and most contaminated fruits and vegetables can give you peace of mind when shopping for your produce. So, take a mental note or even better, keep this list with you when you go on your next shopping trip so you know when it is okay to purchase conventional fruits and veggies versus organic produce.

Dirty Dozen

BONUS: Hot Peppers

These Dirty Dozen foods ranked the highest with more pesticides than other crops tested. Overall percentages and the number and amount of pesticides on all samples were taken into consideration when putting together the findings. More than 90% of many of the samples tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides, with strawberries being the leading food with the most apparent amount of pesticides. As a bonus to the Dirty Dozen, hot peppers can come in as No. 13, as the EWG has a supplementary warning on them.

Clean 15
Sweet Corn
Sweet peas (frozen)
Honeydew melon

All hail the avocado! With fewer than 2% of samples showing any detectable pesticides, the avocado is the cleanest of them all. Plus, almost 70% of the Clean Fifteen had no pesticide residue whatsoever. With that said, you can purchase the conventional option when the store offers organic and non-organic for these 15 fruits and veggies.

Laila Ali Spice Blends are made with 100% Organic veggie, herbs and spices. You can feel good knowing they don’t contain harmful pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals.

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Make simple, delicious, and healthy meals with Laila Ali Spice Blends

Inspired by my original Super Sassy Seasoning Blend in Food for Life, my spices are nutritious and sourced from the highest quality ingredients.

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