The EWG’s 2018 "Dirty Dozen" & "Clean 15" Lists

EWGs 2018 Dirty Dozen.jpeg

Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases it’s finding for the fruits and vegetables that had the most pesticides left on their skin or in them after growing. This list has been nicknamed the “Dirty Dozen.” It’s the list that you should absolutely try to buy organic to skip such a high level of pesticides. The EWG also releases a second list of the fruits and vegetable with the lowest levels of pesticides found on them. This is the list you can buy non-organic if you’re trying to make a tight budget work.

The “Dirty Dozen”:

This is the list of produce with the most pesticide residue:  

  1. Strawberries

    • According to the EWG one strawberry sample contained an astounding 22 pesticide residues and 1/3 of all conventional strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides.

  2. Spinach

    • According to the EWG 97 percent of conventional spinach samples contained pesticide residues. Conventional spinach had relatively high concentrations of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide.

  3. Nectarines

    • According to the EWG nearly 94 percent of nectarine samples contained two or more pesticides.One sample of conventionally grown nectarines contained residues of 15 pesticides.

  4. Apples

    • According to the EWG 90 percent of conventional apples had detectable pesticide residues. 80 percent of apples tested contained diphenylamine, a pesticide banned in Europe.

  5. Grapes

    • According to the EWG grapes contain an average of five pesticide residues. More than 96 percent of conventional grapes test positive for pesticide residues.

  6. Peaches

    • According to the EWG more than 99 percent of conventional peaches had detectable pesticide residues. An average of four pesticide residues were detected on conventional peaches.

  7. Cherries

    • According to the EWG an average of five pesticides were detected on conventional cherries. 30 percent of cherry samples contained iprodione, a pesticide not allowed in Europe, which may cause cancer.

  8. Pears

    • According to the EWG pears contained several pesticides in relatively high concentrations, including insecticides and fungicides. More than half of conventionally grown pears tested had residues of five or more pesticides.

  9. Tomatoes

    • According to the EWG nearly four pesticides were detected on the average conventionally grown tomato. One sample of conventional tomatoes contained 15 different pesticides and breakdown products

  10. Celery

    • According to the EWG more than 95 percent of conventional celery samples tested positive for pesticides. A maximum of 13 pesticides were detected on a sample of conventional celery.

  11. Potatoes

    • According to the EWG conventional potatoes had more pesticide residues by weight than any other crop. One pesticide in particular, chlorpropham, makes up the bulk of pesticides detected on potatoes.

  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

    • According to the EWG almost 90 percent of conventional sweet bell pepper samples contained pesticide residues. Sweet bell peppers can contain fewer pesticide residues than other Dirty Dozen foods, but the pesticides tend to be more toxic to human health.

The “Clean 15”:

This is the list of produce with the lowest likelihood to contain pesticide residue:

  1. Avocados

  2. Sweet Corn

  3. Pineapples

  4. Cabbages

  5. Onions

  6. Sweet Peas

  7. Papayas

  8. Asparagus

  9. Mangoes

  10. Eggplants

  11. Honeydews

  12. Kiwis

  13. Cantaloupes

  14. Cauliflower

  15. Broccoli

Just by following these two lists, you can make choices that help protect your body from pesticide exposure. It’s worth it. Pesticides are one of the endocrine disrupters messing with our hormones as women!

References: EWG's 2018 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™