How To Choose Safe Produce; Which Vegetables & Fruits Are The Most Pesticide Contaminated?

Although I live outside of U.S., I still check the updates of the Dirty 12 & Clean 15 lists from EWG every year to learn the trends of pesticides use on fresh produces. Japan and Korea is known to use much more pesticides than U.S. does due to the milder restrictions by government, I just need to be extra cautious.

In case you are not familiar with what these lists are about:

Dirty Dozen is the list of top 12 fresh produces with high pesticides use. Clean Fifteen is the list of top 15 fresh produces with less pesticides use. (Note that pesticides residue level is another story depends on the produce and preparation procedures.)

Why do I need the lists?

Because organic/ pesticides free produces are not guaranteed to be available all the time, especially in South Korea.

Second of all, the biggest con of organics, although organic produces are safer choice for us and help to sustain healthy environment, the voice protests buying organics is the high price tags. Not everyone including myself can afford every single organic products.

I definitely see price changes over the years, much better price than 20 years ago, which is good. Demand & Supply, more people buy organically grown produces, more farmers need to shift to organic farming.

These lists are very useful to make decision whether substituting is optional or not. For example, I skip Strawberries, Spinach, Kale, and any leafy vegetables if I don’t find organic or pesticides free.

I somehow lost many articles from past blog posts on my old website, including yearly Dirty Dozen updates. So here is the latest information as of now.

Dirty 12

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

Clean 15

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corns
  3. Pineapples
  4. Frozen Sweet Peas
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbages
  11. Cauliflowers
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew

Published by kiwami

Sustainable Lifestyle Specialist /Interior Designer (U.S. certified) /Author of Picture Books