Organic Produce: The Down and Dirty of it

I’m a huge proponent of organic, well grown foods. But I know grocery costs can easily add up, and as much as we’d all love to buy everything organic, grass-fed, nonGMO, locally sourced, and... deep breath… let’s just relax and do our best. And part of that is knowing how to prioritize fruits and veggies in terms of how likely they are to carry pesticides. Below are a couple helpful lists I found on It’s an informative site, good for info on all sorts of environmental issues, including sorting things out in the produce aisle.

The Clean Fifteen™ is a list of produce least likely to hold pesticide residues.

“Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen™ samples had two or more pesticides.”

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Frozen sweet peas
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangos
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes

Sources and for more reading: 1, 2

The Dirty Dozen™(plus 2) is a list of produce with the “highest pesticide load,” in other words, these fruits and vegetables are most likely to hold pesticide residue.

  1. Apples
  2. Peaches
  3. Nectarines
  4. Strawberries
  5. Grapes
  6. Celery
  7. Spinach
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Cucumber
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Imported snap peas
  12. Potatoes
  13. Hot peppers
  14. Kale/collard greens

Sources and for more reading: 34