Organic food

The Dirty Dozen: Know Which Produce You Should Always Buy Organic

By Jane Smith -

An organic apple a day will keep the doctor away! But a non-organic one could be harmful.

Knowing which varieties of produce contain the most pesticides will help keep you and your family healthy. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzes pesticide residue data from the USDA and ranks 48 popular produce from worst to best. It may cost a bit more to buy that organic apple, but isn’t a few cents worth it to your health?

The Dirty Dozen

This list now includes 14 foods you should always buy organic, what we call the Filthy Fourteen. Always buy these fruits and vegetables organic:

Apples
Peaches
Nectarines
Strawberries
Grapes
Celery
Spinach
Sweet Bell Peppers
Cucumbers
Cherry Tomatoes
Snap Peas - Imported
Potatoes
Hot Peppers
Kale / Collard Greens

The Clean Fifteen

If you can’t find organic, it’s okay to eat the following fruits and vegetables non-organic. According to the Environmental Working Group, a small amount of sweet corn, papaya, and summer squash sold in the U.S. is produced from genetically engineered  (GE) seedstock, so if you want to avoid GE produce, buy these organic

Avocados
Sweet Corn
Pineapples
Cabbage
Sweet peas frozen
Onions
Asparagus
Mangos
Papayas
Kiwi
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Sweet potatoes
 
Check the Environmental Working Group for a complete list of the dirtiest and cleanest varieties of conventional produce.

Article credit: Foodista / CC BY
Photo credit: Foodista / CC BY
Cover photo: Diego Duarte Cereceda

To make this website run properly and to improve your experience, we use cookies. For more detailed information, please check our Cookie Policy.

  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences.