It has become incredibly important to focus on the foods that you eat and to make sure that you are only putting good things into your body. Every year the United States Department of Agriculture releases a list of 12 fruits and vegetables, which have tested positive for numerous pesticides and herbicides. In this article, we will be taking a look at the dirty dozen and the fifteen cleanest foods that you should be eating. If your health is a priority for you, you should click here for more about the latest health news and trends.

What Is The Dirty Dozen?

As we stated previously, the dirty dozen is a list published by the United States Department of Agriculture that informs the general population of the fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amounts of pesticides. It is important to remember that the list of fruits and vegetables on the dirty dozen list is updated every year.

Why Should I Worry About Pesticides On Food?

Pesticides are chemicals that are used during the farming process to protect crops against insects, fungi, weeds, and other pests. Additionally, certain crops are sprayed with pesticides to reduce the population of certain pests like mosquitoes to reduce the spread of a variety of tropical diseases. Due to the fact that pesticides are chemicals you really want to avoid consuming foods that have large amounts of these pesticides on them. Pesticides are generally classified into a variety of different categories. Pesticides can be carcinogenic, meaning they cause cancer, neurotoxic (could potentially cause damage to your brain) or teratogenic, which means that it could cause damage to a developing fetus. Pesticides can cause significant damage to your skin depending on the amounts you consume and the amount of time that you are exposed to those pesticides. Below we have included a list of some of the acute conditions that can occur due to exposure to pesticides:

  1. Abdominal Pain
  2. Dizziness
  3. Headaches
  4. Nausea
  5. Vomiting
  6. Skin Irritation
  7.  Eye Problems


The Dirty Dozen

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

Do I Need To Avoid These Fruits And Vegetables Entirely?

The good news is that you do not have to avoid these fruits and vegetables entirely. There are a variety of things that you can do to minimize the harmful pesticides present in these foods. The first thing we would suggest is that you rather choose to buy the food on the dirty dozen list from an organic source. Organic farmers tend to use methods to control pests that do not include pesticides. Additionally, organic food often contains more vitamins and minerals and is free from any additional hormones. Other options to reduce your exposure to pesticides on food would be to wash your food properly and to remove all skins and peels when possible. Finally, you should also try to stay away from the foods on the dirty dozen lists if it is not organic.

How To Wash Your Fruits And Vegetables

When you buy fresh produce, it is important to wash the fruit and vegetables thoroughly before you eat it. This is even true for organic fruits and vegetables. Before you wash your fruit and vegetables you should make sure that you wash your hands with a mild detergent. Then you should place your produce in a sink that has been filled with cold, distilled water and a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Let your fruit and vegetables soak for a short amount of time, vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages should be soaked for longer. Vegetables with thick skins like potatoes can be scrubbed with a gentle vegetable brush to ensure that all the dirt and residue has been removed. Once you have removed all of the dirt and residue from your fresh produce you can drain the water from your skin, dry the fruit and vegetables and store them as you usually would.

The Clean Fifteen

The fruits and vegetables on the clean fifteen lists have been tested and showed the least amount of residual pesticides. The fruit and vegetables on this year’s clean fifteen lists are:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew Melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli



Sign Up for Our Newsletter!