This Fruit Tops 2022’s Dirty Dozen

The Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen is a yearly report from the Environmental Working Group that ranks nonorganic fruits and vegetables according to the levels of pesticides found in samples of the plants. It can be helpful information when it comes to buying organic vs conventional fruits and vegetables. Aiming to purchase organic versions of foods from the “Dirty Dozen” as often as possible, and worrying less about the foods on the “Clean 15” list can help with the budget concerns that come with buying organic food. Buying organic fruit and vegetables frozen is one way to help offset the cost as well.

The EWG gets data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s samplings of pesticide residue on produce done yearly or every 2 years. The USDA tests analyze 46 fruits and vegetables and prior to testing prepare them in a way a normal consumer would; rinsing and peeling if the peels are inedible. The EWG then ranks all of the USDA results with their own method to come up with their lists.

Dirty Dozen

More than 70% of these had detectable pesticide residue, the Environmental Working Group said.

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens

4. Nectarines

5. Apples

6. Grapes

7. Bell and hot peppers

8. Cherries

9. Peaches

10. Pears

11. Celery

12. Tomatoes Clean 15 Almost 70% of these fruit and vegetable samples had no detectable residues of pesticides. Avocados and sweet corn had less than 2% of samples showing any detectable pesticides. 1. Avocados 2. Sweet corn 3. Pineapple 4. Onions 5. Papaya 6. Sweet peas (frozen) 7. Asparagus 8. Honeydew melon 9. Kiwi 10. Cabbage 11. Mushrooms 12. Cantaloupe 13. Mangoes 14. Watermelon 15. Sweet potatoes Although the list can be a helpful guide, it does not come without controversy. Some growers of organic and inorganic foods along with dietitians oppose the report saying it raises unnecessary concerns for people.

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