Some foods should always be purchased organic but some don’t need to be! We commonly call this the DIRTY DOZEN and CLEAN 15 based upon analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program report. You can save yourself a few extra dollars at the market by avoiding buying organic when it’s not necessary. One of my favorite items to see on the Clean 15 list is Avocados!

Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

The EWG listed the produce with the post pesticide residue on its “Dirty Dozen” list:


  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Tomatoes
  • Peaches
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes

The Clean 15 are the least likely to contain pesticide residue:

  • Sweet corn*
  • Mangoes
  • Avocados
  • Eggplant
  • Pineapples
  • Honeydew
  • Cabbage
  • Kiwifruit
  • Onions
  • Cantaloupe
  • Frozen sweet peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Papayas*
  • Grapefruit
  • Asparagus

* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.