freeimage-836755-webEvery year the USDA and the FDA look at the most common fruits & vegetable consumed and the levels of pesticides in our produce. They then provide a useful list call “the dirty dozen” – produce that contains high amounts of pesticides and “the clean dozen” – produce that contains the lowest pesticides. With the dirty dozen these are the produce you WANT to ensure are organic however when it comes to the clean dozen it’s not as important.  It’s still better to buy organic but the clean dozen less toxic if not organic.

The DIRTY DOZEN(in order of highest pesticide contamination)

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • NEW addition: Kale and Collard greens increase use of pesticides!
The CLEAN DOZEN (in order of lowest pesticide contamination)
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwis
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant

Full results of the study at


As an FYI – Kale is a SUPER-DUPER food that is very easy to grow in your gardens making it organic. Also it will actually grow all year long, allowing you to have fresh Kale from your garden through the winter months to use in your winter soups and stews. Keep in mind the deer do enjoy it too… so your winter supply might not last as long as you hoped!


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