The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists are released annually by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to highlight the non-organic fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest pesticide residues. Here is the latest list.
What is the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists?
The Dirty 12™ and Clean 15™ lists are annual publications from The Environmental Working Group (EWG) to provide consumers with information on fruit and vegetable pesticide exposure. The information on these lists comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data.
The EWG, a non-profit organization that aims to protect public health and the environment, recommends consuming produce from the Clean Fifteen list while choosing organic options for the items on the Dirty Dozen list to reduce exposure to harmful pesticides while still enjoying a varied diet of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Dirty Dozen™ List.
This list includes 12 non-organic fruits and vegetables that are found to have the highest levels of pesticide residue, even after being washed and peeled. The EWG recommends choosing organic options for these items.
- Kale, collard and mustard greens
- Bell and hot peppers
The Clean Fifteen™ List
This list includes fruits and vegetables with the lowest levels of pesticides.
- Sweet corn*
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Honeydew melon
- Cantaloupe melon
- Sweet potatoes
* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce. See the whole list.
Other Fruit and Vegetables.
This list includes the fruits and vegetables in between Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. Here it is in order of highest to lowest pesticide levels.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Winter squash
- Green beans
- Summer squash
- Snap peas
Dirty Dozen (2009)
- Bell Peppers
- Grapes (imported)
Clean 15 (Lowest in Pesticides)
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
- Honeydew Melon
EWG analysts have developed this Guide based on data from nearly 96,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce conducted between 2000 and 2008 and collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For more information please visit www.foodnews.org