A bunch of us are trying to eat better – more nutritious food, smaller quantities, getting away from processed foods.
And whenever I am making an effort to eat better, I think about the need to get away from pesticides. It seems to be ridiculous to eat “better” food, when that “better” food is washed in poisonous chemicals.
Now I get that not everyone can afford to eat completely organic foods. The truth is, they DO cost more, and have no more vitamin content. So it is easy to just not worry about it.
Well, I’m of a mind that even if you can’t afford to eat completely organic, then at least buy organic of the foods that have the most nasty pesticides, or are affected the worst. In my efforts to educate myself about what those might be, I discovered the “dirty dozen and clean 15.” These are lists of the 12 worst fruits and vegetables to buy non-organic, and the 15 non-organic that have the least dangerous poisons on them, or are the least affected.
Dirty Dozen – always eat these organic
3. cherry tomatoes
6. hot peppers
7. nectarines (imported)
12. sweet bell peppers
…plus collards & kale
…plus summer squash & zucchini
Clean 15 – these are deemed safe to eat conventional
14. sweet peas (frozen)
15. sweet potatoes
You can find this printable copy of the 2013 version of both lists to keep with you when you shop at
In looking over this 2013 list, I’ve noticed some changes. In 2012 ALL berries were listed in the dirty dozen, including blueberries, rather than just strawberries. I’m going to need to do some investigating on that!
Anyway, if you’re trying to eat better, you might consider starting here!