Produce Shopping: Dirty Dozen vs. Clean Fifteen

You may remember from my previous post, Eating for Nourishment… My Food Story , Organic eating is the first food philosophy that really resonated with me. You might also remember the part where I had to start buying my own groceries, and the organic price tag kicked me right back to nutrition square one.

So how do we tackle the question of  the Organic label when trying to minimize pesticides in our food? The higher price tag may be intimidating, so knowing where it’s most important to pay top dollar is extremely helpful.

I try to buy Organic or Non-GMO as much as possible, but when you are managing your grocery budget you may need to weigh your options. Below are my go-to lists for those exact moments. The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen are lists developed annually by The Environmental Working Group, which call out the produce most and least likely to contain pesticide residue.


Dirty Dozen

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

Clean Fifteen

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocado
  3. Pineapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Papaya
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mango
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew Melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

These guides help steer the decision on when the Organic regulations reducing synthetic pesticides are worth the price. If we have to make choices about where we spend our money, it’s helpful to know where to make the right investment. Peace of mind for your bank account AND your plate is true health harmony.

For more information, and to keep track of the updated list annually visit . I’ll explore more grocery shopping tips to come, next week diving into seasonal produce shopping! Do you have any tricks of your own for shopping smart and healthy?



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