The Dirtiest (and Cleanest) Fruits and Veggies of 2016

foodThe Environmental Working Group has released their popular Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ lists for 2016. These annual lists showcase fruits and vegetables with the most, and least, amounts of pesticides to help shoppers avoid high risk foods.

These lists are especially valuable for those who are picking and choosing organic purchases due to availability or cost. By arming yourself with knowledge about which foods contain the highest contaminants, you can more easily minimize exposure to dozens of potentially harmful toxins in your family’s diet.

Here is this year’s information.

The Dirty Dozen

This year, a not so surprising favorite, strawberries, grabbed the top spot on the Dirty Dozen list from apples.

“It is startling to see how heavily strawberries are contaminated with residues of hazardous pesticides, but even more shocking is that these residues don’t violate the weak U.S. laws and regulations on pesticides in food,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG Senior Analyst. “The EPA’s levels of residues allowed on produce are too lax to protect Americans’ health. They should be updated to reflect new research that shows even very small doses of toxic chemicals can be harmful, particularly for young children.”

Other fruits and veggies that made it to the top of the list are:

2. Apples

3. Nectarines

4. Peaches

5. Celery

6. Grapes

You can see the rest of the list on EWG’s site.

The Clean 15

Avocados retained their top spot on the Clean 15 list with less than 1% of samples tested showing any detectable pesticides. EWG points out that “No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four types of pesticides, and very few for more than one.”

Here are some of the other winners in this category. 

2. Sweet Corn

3. Pineapples

4. Cabbage

5. Sweet Peas (frozen)

6. Onions

You can view the rest of the Clean 15 list here.

The Environmental Working Group offers more than just these simple lists to help parents find a balance between serving healthy foods and avoiding toxins.

You can grab their complete 2016 Guide to Presticides in Produce™ here and their easy to use Food Scoring System (as well as the associated app) here. The scoring system allows shoppers to quickly identify the safety of foods before or during a grocery run, making it a very helpful tool.

Will these lists change your buying habits?


One thought on “The Dirtiest (and Cleanest) Fruits and Veggies of 2016”

  1. I’m confused as to why sweet corn is ever on any kind of “clean” list. Unless verifed non gmo, it’s all gmo. Gmo creates it’s own pesticides and is still sprayed with glyphosate just before harvest.

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