The dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce

A new report issued by the President’s Cancer Panel recommends eating produce without pesticides to reduce your risk of getting cancer and other diseases. And according to the Environmental Working Group (an organization of scientists, researchers and policymakers), certain types of organic produce can reduce the amount of toxins you consume on a daily basis by as much as 80 percent.

The group put together two lists, “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15,” to help consumers know when they should buy organic and when it is unnecessary. These lists were compiled using data from the United States Department of Agriculture on the amount of pesticide residue found in non-organic fruits and vegetables after they had been washed.

The fruits and vegetables on “The Dirty Dozen” list, when conventionally grown, tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, with some testing positive for as many as 67. For produce on the “dirty” list, you should definitely go organic — unless you relish the idea of consuming a chemical cocktail. “The Dirty Dozen” list includes:

  • celery
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • domestic blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • spinach, kale and collard greens
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • imported grapes
  • lettuce

All the produce on “The Clean 15” bore little to no traces of pesticides, and is safe to consume in non-organic form. This list includes:

  • onions
  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • mango
  • sweet peas
  • asparagus
  • kiwi fruit
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • sweet onions

Why are some types of produce more prone to sucking up pesticides than others? Richard Wiles, senior vice president of policy for the Environmental Working Group says, “If you eat something like a pineapple or sweet corn, they have a protection defense because of the outer layer of skin. Not the same for strawberries and berries.”

The President’s Cancer Panel recommends washing conventionally grown produce to remove residues. Wiles adds, “You should do what you can do, but the idea you are going to wash pesticides off is a fantasy. But you should still wash it because you will reduce pesticide exposure.”

Remember, the lists of dirty and clean produce were compiled after the USDA washed the produce using high-power pressure water systems that many of us could only dream of having in our kitchens.

The full list contains 49 types of produce, rated on a scale of least to most pesticide residue. You can check out the full list from on the Environmental Working Group’s website at www.foodnews.org.

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Comments

  • hsl2000

    I understand the need for this attention and have always tried to avoid pesticides where possible. However, to be realistic, the average consumer in this country, in an average income household, might never be able to eat many of the “dirty dozen” foods again because the costs put them out of reach for our budgets. Along with these alerts, what is being done to work with agriculture to reduce the use of pesticides as much as possible? I have grown blueberries in two states and one of the big assets for the home gardener is how little these fruits are affected by either bugs or disease. What is it that “requires” heavy pesticide loads for these to be produced–and why only domestically? Do other countries know something about the agriculture of blueberries that we haven’t yet learned??

  • Jia

    These lists sound like a great idea – but the results are pretty disappointing. It’s self-evident that fruits and vegetables with skin would have the least amount of pesticides since they’re peeled or shaved off before consumption. It would be nice to know which organic soaps are best when washing the “Dirty Dozen.”

  • Corinne

    My sister-in-law were just talking about this very topic last night. I’ve been making changes to our families diet since my daughter started having reactions to LOTS of fruits and vegetables. She’s not allergic to any food so far. I’ve noticed a great difference in going organic or natural in some cases. Although more expensive, I find my kids filling up more on healthy food versus fast food or processed foods. We’ve been trying hard with our tight budget. Thanks for the help in choosing the right organic foods and letting us know when it’s ok to just stick to local. Appreciate the knowledge. Need to Know is my new favorite!

  • Global

    I agree with Hsl2000. Unless you have the option of purchasing organic or from a farmers market you are pretty limited in choice. The fed gov. should be working with farmers to come up with a plan to reduce the amount of pesticides used on our food all together.

  • Jackie Pou, Multimedia Producer, Need to Know

    Thank you for your comments! I am working on finding out what the government is doing to reduce pesticides in our produce. Especially those on the “dirty dozen” list. Stay tuned!

    And to answer the question about washing. The truth is washing produce, especially the produce on the “dirty dozen,” will not remove all the pestcides. No matter what kind of soap you use.

  • PRM

    It’s up to us as consumers to read for ourselves where the product comes from and make informed choices. Just because the company sticks a USDA organic sticker on it, doesn’t always make it a safe choice. Chances are, if a tomato is flown in from another country, it’s been sitting in transit for a while and certain products have been used to keep it “fresh” while on the move.

  • Kobi

    Good to know! I always try and buy organic produce, but if I have to go the good ol’ fashioned chemically infested way, it’s good to know which ones aren’t so bad. I think everyone can take small steps toward eating healthy. And choosing organic is an excellent start. So it is a tad bit more expensive… cut out the quick runs to Taco Bell and there’s your grocery money. :o )

  • SJB

    This is super helpful. Thank you so much for this article.

  • Ruby

    The list is interesting, but it’s really disappointing that the only information provided regarding the chemicals is that 47 of them were found on the fruit. Ok, so what? What chemicals exactly and why should we be concerned about these chemicals? Citric acid (found naturally in citrus) is considered a “chemical” and a “pesticide,” but doesn’t necessarily evoke the same horror that just the mere mention of “chemicals” does. Was this in the list of chemicals? Am I just supposed to assume that all of them are bad and will give me cancer? I “need to know” more details about why exactly these chemicals in the food are supposedly so horrifying and why I need to avoid them.

  • Jackie Pou, Multimedia Producer

    Thank you Ruby! We are going to get that answer for you!

  • OrganicTrade (OTA)

    The Organic Trade Association (OTA) would caution people against the idea of limiting their organic purchases to the list of items mentioned in this blog. Setting such limits misses an important point: buying organic is about more than keeping pesticides out of our bodies. It is about supporting a system of sustainable agricultural management that promotes soil health and fertility through the use of such methods as crop rotation and cover cropping, which nourish plants, foster species diversity, help combat climate change, prevent damage to valuable water resources, and protect farmers and farmers’ families from exposure to harmful chemicals. In this sense, buying organic is a commitment to the bigger, more complex picture of which our personal health is a part.

    In thinking about which organic products to buy, consider this: instead of focusing your organic purchases on a particular group of items, choose organic versions of the products you buy most. Whether that is milk, produce, or personal care products, buying organic will not only help reduce your exposure to harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, but also support a system of agricultural management that is great for the planet.

    Organic. It’s worth it.
    http://www.organicitsworthit.org

  • Danielle

    Knowing which fruits contain more pesticides than others is useful information but it i discouraging for indiviudals such as myself who live in poorer communities…the grocery stores that are nearby do not offer a wide variety of organic produce — or fresh produce for that matter! As a result, I must pay extra to order from organic distributors such as Fresh Direct or travel outside of my local community to buy produce. Thanks for the article!

  • n.rod

    The dirty list explains why I get unpleasant reactions from eating some of the fruits listed. Yes, there should be a layman’s explanation of what the specific “chemicals” are (@Ruby) because it is a generic term for substances that exist naturally vs man-made, but I think we can assume that this blog is referring to man-made chemicals (i.e. pesticides, as stated in the text).

    I agree with OTA that there is a larger movement to support by buying organic, however, organic is synonymous with the privileged. I agree with Danielle that the built environment really limits and dictates what low-income communities have access to – thus the higher prevalence of disease and obesity. This article opens the discussion to a larger context of pesticide regulation down to access as some communities are left more vulnerable than others.

  • Rita

    IT SAVES A LOT OF MONEY TO KNOW WHICH TYPES OF PRODUCE MOST NEED TO BE ORGANIC. Eating local and eating in season helps to accomplish that.

  • KinoMaster

    Can we get a complete list of this “Dirty” and “Clean” produce list?
    Thank you so much for this article.

  • MEM

    @ Ruby- As of now there is no conclusive research to support that pesticide residues at the levels found on fruits and vegetables cause cancer. Cancer is caused by mutations in DNA that prevent the cell from regulating growth. It seems that right now the jury is still out on pesticides ability to cause these mutations (the strongest evidence is for DDT but it has been off the market since 1972). Also, many people try to argue that since pesticides are toxic at high concentrations they must be bad for us at low concentrations. Yet, so many things we interact with daily are toxic at high concentrations: the sun, calories, and water, to name a few. I will admit that these are conversely good for us at low concentrations but the analogy is still useful in reminding us that all things in excess are dangerous and the persons most at risk are pesticide applicators.

    Also, the claim is often made that organically produced foods have higher nutritional quality but again, as of yet, scientific evidence does substantiate those claims. A recent meta-analysis can be found here: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajcn.2009.28041v1.

    Another issue I am surprised your show has neglected is the question of the implications that a shift to world wide organic food production would have. Norman Bourlaug, Nobel laureate known for his role in the green revolution of farming, explains his thoughts on organic farming here: http://www.agricultureinformation.com/forums/organic-farming/29046-norman-borlaug-organic-farming.html.

    The President’s Cancer Panels recommendations suggest that we should shift from an innocent until proven guilty mentality to a defensive stance that cannot be substantiated by science. It is always good to be cautious about the way that we live but we have enough known carcinogens to keep us busy until we find more evidence on the ones in question. Also, it is interesting to note that it appears that the incidence of cancer has been declining in the U.S. of late.

    I choose to avoid organic foods completely because current evidence does support their nutritional or health benefits. Also, after going to a land grant university that does extensive research in agriculture and as the daughter of a horticulturist and agriculturist, I have come to appreciate the complexity of the world food market and production. Parts of our world are full of people who operate exclusively on a local, pesticide free agricultural system and unfortunately many of them don’t have the nutrients or quantities they need and I don’t want to encourage a similar system. Additionally, as more stores start carrying more organic foods and less conventionally grown foods it will be even harder for Americans of low socioeconomic status to afford fruits and vegetables. I fear that we would then see an increase in obesity which is already on the rise and causing more and more deaths every year.

  • anmca

    I once had an orchard of 30 fruit trees, an arbor of concord grapes, blue berry bushes,
    rhubarb, an almond tree, and some hazelnuts. Why do I speak of these things ?

    Since selling that small farm for a smaller place which is easier to care for I’ve purchased my fruits at WalMart and some of the other large chain grocery stores. I can speak from first hand experience of the difference in flavor and quality. I sprayed very little and used a regime of beneficial insects including praying mantis, trichogramma wasp, lace wings,
    green lacewings, and lady bugs. The price wasn’t much different than purchasing chemicals. (you can Google “beneficial insects for the garden”)

    The bottom line is that I lived better growing and consuming my own produce than this genetically engineered stuff that’s only purpose is to be able to make it here from Chile, look pretty enough to sell from the store shelves, and disappoint the buyer. Not to mention burning vast amounts of diesel fuel in the boat that transports it here that the brokers write off their taxes and the tax payers shoulder the cost of.

    So let me challenge you to get a small spiral ring note book and go to a local Farmers
    market and buy some locally grown fruit such as apples, peaches, nectarines, pears,
    plumbs, and then go to a WalMart and buy some of the same there. Then sample and
    compare them and record your impressions. Then share this with your friends.

  • Debbie

    The USDA is in bed with the giants of the food industry. They don’t care about out health and well being. They care that they produce high volumes of food pest free so that the giants make their big bucks. We can and should make the effort to buy local from the farmers nearby. It’s easier than people think.

  • Angie

    This dirty list makes me want to cry. It’s all the foods that we eat most days…and we can’t afford to go organic all the time. It’s scary to live in thid world.

  • David Emel

    These type of articles are fabulous and extremely helpful. The only problem I have with them is there are so many in even more categories, it would be more helpful if they were down loadable. It would be easier to keep a folder of them than trying to keep umpteen links and some links are perishable.

    Thanks
    Dave

  • Tammy Michaud

    Scary world indeed. Check the internet for farmers near your area that grow organic produce and buy from them or local farmer’s markets, much more affordable and where there is a will there is a way to buy healthy food for your family. We are barely making ends meet right now and somehow I find a way to buy organic. The government isn’t looking into ways to reduce our exposure to pesticides… they are in bed with Monsanto. They have actually increased the use of pesticides over the last decade or so and are looking to increase it again because they have now grown pesticide resistant weeds and their answer is to find more chemicals to combat the new super weeds. Don’t rely on your government for your health, they more interested in big corporations profits. I need to know more information about people that have improved their health by eating organic food because I believe there are many of us out there and we need to spread the word that eating chemicals is killing us.

  • Kristina

    It’s interesting how sweet potatoes and regular potatoes end up on different lists!

  • Mary

    We could probably ‘spare’ the extra money to buy organic for important things, the major problem for my family is availability. Our local grocery store only carries traditional produce and it would be a minimum of a 45 minute drive (one way) to reach a store that had more choices. With three preschoolers, this is not a trip I am able to make very often. :(

  • Pete

    This list is very helpful but it leaves out one important fact. The USDA has decided that it is not in the consumer’s best interest to know whigh foods have been geneticly modified.

  • Ahmie

    For those of you who have to travel a great distance to get to organic produce, a suggestion: buy frozen organic berries, if that’s your primary concern (it is one of mine). A good freezer bag or cooler should keep them frozen for the trip home. Also, if you can, grow your own (berries are pretty easy to grow usually, and strawberries even do well in containers). Really sad that we have to take it to these extremes tho.

  • mem

    Current scientific research doesn’t support nutritional superiority of organic foods nor have the common pesticides been proven as carcinogens. Some pesticides have been supected to cause DNA mutations that lead to cancer but the results are inconclusive. After some recent discussion I have become very interested in the subject and have been searching all the published scientific papers for evidence but haven’t turned up anything definitive. The President’s Panel on Cancer clearly states in the introduction of their report that they are suggesting a shift from an evidence based approach to carcinogens to a more defensive avoidence of products we cannot prove are carcinogenic. My fear is that this will lead to more cost than benefit. As a health care professional we see the same paranoia in some patients who fear taking meds that can ultimately improve their quality of life and health because there are unfounded claims circulating about the safety of a drug or material. At this time, it seems to me that most Americans have plenty of known carinogens to worry about like the sun, tabacco, and radon to name a few. I think it is in our best interest to invest our time, enery, and money in to reducing exposure to these and working on our cardiovascular health which is still our biggest killer. If you want to make a difference in carcinogen reduction you might consider donating money towards more research on organic products.

  • Jaylah

    I see this as one of those “good news – bad news” kinds of things. I’m disabled and living on a very small disability pension. As a result, I do qualify for a certain amount of “food assistance” (used to be called “food stamps”) from the government. The bad news: if you qualify for “food assistance” there’s absolutely no way you can afford to buy organic anything. The good news: if you qualify for “food assistance”, it’s a good bet that you may already be growing some of your own food. (If not a full-blown garden, at least a couple of tomato plants in containers, etc.) And if you’re growing your own, you can decide not to use chemicals on your plants.

    By the way, it’s nice that our EBT cards are now being accepted by some farmers markets. I like the idea of being able to support my local growers. But still….organic anything usually costs more than “regular.” So if I bought organic, I’d be going hungry several days out of each month.

    And please don’t trash me for depending on food stamps. I assure you, my disability was not of my own making or choosing. I didn’t do drugs, etc. I was born with a bad heart valve and — when it finally got bad enough that it needed to be replaced — I had a stroke on the operating table. Since this is a permanent disability, my qualifying for food stamps isn’t going to change. Do I like having to “sponge” off of your tax-dollars? No. Do I have a choice? No.

  • Mara

    I respectfully, but strongly disagree with mem (comment above). As a registered dietitian, I, too am a healthcare professional. While I agree that evidence based analysis is crucial, we do not have enough long-term or generational studies to provide the evidence to make decisions today that will have effects not onlynon us, but on our children, and grandchildren. We have been putting too much chemical-laden garbage into our bodies for too long, and while the evidentiary links may not yet be visible, we can’t discount the astronomical rises in food intolerances and allergies, nor the proven synergistically increased levels of pesticides in most modern Americans.

    In layman’s terms, I would paraphrase something that I once heard chef Sara Moulton say: “If it’s good enough that the bugs want it, it’s a good sign that it’s good enough for us to eat”.

  • Monica

    If you are really concerned, start a garden! Not hard to do and the kids love helping. Then freeze or can for the winter. I know alot of people don’t have the space, but you can get alot in a 4′X4′ garden. Freezing fresh veggies preserves them so they really taste like fresh. Can’t grow a garden? Go to your local Farmer’s Market. I would imagine even the stands not saying organic have much less chemicals than the large companies and keep $ at home. Growing strawberries, blueberries and even a small apple tree are not that hard either. A small back yard will handle all this. I have even successfully grown tomatoes, peas, green beens, cucumbers, and herbs in containers on the deck. All is not lost with the ‘clean and dirty’ list. Also…find a local farmer to buy your eggs and meat. Ask what the animals were fed and support your local area.

    Although I have a garden and go to my local Farmer’s Market, I refuse to get stressed over the ‘clean and dirt’ lists. Stress leads to disease also. Just do what you can and what you can afford. People who eat organic food get cancer too.

  • John K-G

    The government regulates and even restricts the sale of certain foods known to be unhealthy, yet places no restrictions upon other foods known to be unhealthy. I can only conclude that this is so because money changes hands.

  • Jaylah

    Mara, I must agree. As a breast cancer survivor (in addition to everything else), I’d “rather be safe than sorry.”

    There are SO many toxic chemicals out there that we have no choice than be subjected to, it just seems to only make sense to avoid them when we can.

    If I could afford to, I’d be eating only free-range, hormone-free animal products (like eggs, chicken, meat, dairy, etc….although I admit that I think Americans tend to eat too much of those anyway), and organically grown produce and grains. All, of course, non-genetically engineered.

    But I can’t. Still…I do what I can. I’d rather avoid toxins and find out later that they had no health risks (hard to imagine that), than say “nobody’s PROVEN they’ll make me sick……..yet.”

  • Suzanne

    I agree with Monica’s post (above) ” just do what you can and what you can afford”. Any changes you make to eat locally, and organic will be one step in the right direction. You can’t worry about every little single thing you eat or drink, or that worry will make you sick even if the food doesn’t. My take on it all; buyer beware- take some responsibility and read up and learn about the things you can do. Talk to your friends, find farmers in your area to buy from and support them. Carpool with friends once a week, or every other, to share the cost of driving to farms or farmers markets. There is a wealth of knowledge on the internet out there, read! There are several web sites that will direct you to the closest farms, or co-ops – farmers markets. You have to be willing to go out of your way a little, make the effort, do some research. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost more! But it does take a little more time and effort. Is it worth it? Then do what you can, and let the rest go. Get out and enjoy a walk in the fresh air and sunshine and release what you can’t do anything about…. the old “Serenity prayer” works for this issue too…. Cheers!

  • Food for Thought

    Here is a thought for the USDA. Do not post findings based on this:

    “Remember, the lists of dirty and clean produce were compiled after the USDA washed the produce using high-power pressure water systems that many of us could only dream of having in our kitchens.”

    I would bet money that if I wash even the “clean ones” off using my kitchen sink I will find more pesticide residue then they were able to. Thank you for the base idea, but please return when you have tested properly in a setting as close to an average house as you can. Other wise there is far to much uncertainty in the results. (I believe Chem 100 students have to learn about uncertainty in measurements and tests. :-/)

  • sean

    gosh, I ate a bunch of grapes last week and didn’t wash them! I though the hazy stuff on them was safe… OH MY KIDNEYS!

  • mem

    You know it is interesting that the article says high-powered washers were used because on the USDA website it explicitly says in the methodology that they washed the produce “emulating consumer practices”. (FYI if you’d like to check up on this information- I reached this page after searching for the USDA pesticide data program and clicking on the quick facts about PDP- I always find it is important to go back to the credible source of the information)

    I think it is important to note that the USDA does have quality standard to restrict food that is unhealthy. My mom was actually a meat judge in college and a lot of work goes into to regulating and classifying meats, dairy, and produce. I also come from a agricultural family who has been farming since the early 1800′s and I find among my friends one of the major issues with food production is misunderstanding.

    Also, in response to earlier comments made in regard to my first comment, I agree that in many cases it is best to be safe rather than sorry but there are many agricultural issues that we will have to face if conventionally produced foods become less and less available. Therefore I would say the cost of organic farming outweighs the benefit. When I say cost I am referring to both financial and environmental. First, let me identify the benefit. The benefit is: the chance that eating organic foods will reduce exposure to pesticides and therefore reduce DNA mutations that cause cancer. Yet, we have no evidence to support that DNA mutations are occurring due to pesticides. So, let’s say the chance that pesticides are a carcinogen is 50/50 that means that you have a 50% chance that you are not making any reduction in mutations at all (I am just picking 50/50 because I would say the research is split at this time). And some people may decide that the chance in a reduction is good enough for them but we generally don’t operate on those systems in the medical field. Also, even if it is reducing mutations to some degree, cancer takes many mutations to occur and we all die with many mutations in our DNA because our cells are not as efficient at correcting errors in DNA the older we get.

    The cost is harder to explain. I think Norman Bourlaug, Nobel Laureate does it well here: http://www.agricultureinformation.com/forums/organic-farming/29046-norman-borlaug-organic-farming.html and address biotechnology here: http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/borlaug.html Pesticides were developed to help utilize the land better and increase yields. If it were easy and produced equal yields organic farming would definitely be the way to go. But unfortunately, many people in this world still go to bed hungry each night because we have food shortages. Also, as I am sure everyone knows, obesity is on the rise in America and increasing costs of produce will only perpetuate the unhealthy eating habits of those individuals who cannot afford fruits and vegetables already.

    Mara- I also wanted to address your concern about allergies. I know many suggestions have been made about the increasing number of individuals with food allergies but it is always good to remember that correlation doesn’t equal causation. It can be likened to the parents who think that their children have autism from getting their vaccinations. It is also interesting to note that we have seen a rise in the number of individuals with any allergies not just food products but plants and metals. Also, the number of autoimmune disorders in general are increasing which could be due to a number of factors but pesticide use seems a quite unlikely one.

    Another good way to think about this is that many pesticides work much like antibiotics do. Antibiotics target specific pathways unique to an organism. Pesticides also target pathways unique to the pest (be it an insect or a weed). These pesticides are not designed to alter the produce (making it undesirable to the bug as the chef you reference implies) but to disable the pest’s digestive or reproductive system keeping the fields free from potential scavengers. And just like we excrete much of the antibiotics without altering our chemistry so do we excrete much of the pesticides.

  • Cecile

    Ag businesses and farmers who have loans often are required to use pesticides by the banks and/or loan insurance companies.

    If you can’t get organic food locally in chain supermarkets, request it of the Produce Manager. All chains carry organic produce where I live, and today, the beets, lettuce and several other items were the same price as conventional items. The more we request “organic” the more we’ll get it.

    If you really want to support organic and local farmers, join a CSA (community supported agriculture) and get your veggies that way. The front-end money is cheaper in the long run, when you count things like chronic pain, medical bills, and cancer.

  • ANn

    I don’t like the “uneccesary” comment when it comes to buying organic/chemical free. Even if somehow even a tiny bit of pesticides are ok for you, what about the environment? What about the soil and water we are destroying? What about the health of the exploited workers who are exposed to higher concentrations of the poison? What about the people who live in the rural areas? I can understand the need to pick and choose given the higher costs of organic and our shitty economy for so many, but to ignore the other costs of pesticides is irresponsible of the panel, and PBS. :( Go local, and when is the last time you priced organic produce, tried to container garden, freeze or can things? It’s not as expensive as you may think. Also, recently I tried a non organic chicken, instead of the local organic one I usually get. Supermarket chicken smells like urine, and has a horrible taste. Never again. I’d go meat free rather than eat that.

  • Bill S.

    It’s very helpful to have some guidance for buying organic fruits and vegetables. Some on both lists seem obvious, but others are a real surprise.
    Thanks for making this available.

  • Patrick R.

    As a poor grad student, I can scarcely afford the pesticide-laden imported grapes, much organic sources for all my produce. I can’t wait until I one day have a real job that allows me to purchase a little plot of land where I can grow much of what I eat, but it just isn’t happening right now. It would be nice if we could get a little more government oversight into what is going into and on our food. In light of this info, I will now have to eat even more pineapple, asparagus and cabbage. Oh, the horror!

    I think many of these pesticides are really unnecessary. So many of the things found in the typical supermarket are made for the eye, not for the mouth. These gorgeous, perfectly round tomatoes you see everywhere taste like nothing. Give me the misshapen, flavorful things that grew in grandma’s garden any day of the week. The food in this country has become so industrialized and processed, even when compared to other highly industrialized nations, and with modern transportation and refrigeration, there is no real need for much of it.

  • Judy

    I’m curious that this seems to be referring only to pesticides that are on the SURFACE of the products, hence all the talk of washing.
    What about the pesticides TAKEN IN by the plant?
    Weren’t watermelons and onions on the bad list a few years ago? I thought it was because they have a high water content that took in the pesticides via water from the soil.
    Or was this testing done on the whole product on a cellular level?
    Thanks for any info.

  • Jaylah

    My understanding is that pesticides and chemical fertilizers are “necessary” because of our current monoculture farming methods. (I live in Iowa, and you rarely see anything planted in fields but soybeans and field corn. Most of which, by now, are genetically engineered to be “Round-Up Ready.” Those two crops are rotated by field each year. If a particular field was planted in beans this year, it will be corn next year.)

    And this monoculture farming practice is also ruining our soil. The longer a field is used for monoculture planting, the more necessary it becomes to ever increase the amounts of pesticides and chemical fertilizers required.

    If *true* crop rotations were used, and organic fertilizers were used (manure), our soils would not require chemical fertilizers, and pests would not become immune to ever harsher pesticides.

    So to claim that the “modern” farming method of monoculture is less expensive than organic farming methods is, at best, ingenuous and misleading.

    Yes, it does cost a bit more *up-front* to change a farm from the current monoculture system of farming to organic. If nothing else, the land must remain pesticide and chemical fertilizer free for several years before it can be certified as organic. This means lower yields during the intervening years. It also means certain changes in equipment needs. You won’t need your big sprayers anymore, but you *will* need a large manure spreader. (As well as a source for that manure.) And it does mean an often steep learning curve. If you stop planting the same two crops, you’re going to need to find out what other crops are best suited for your fields.

    But I think all soil-biologists have taken the firm position that our monoculture methods of farming are absolutely ruining our best farmland, and that only a return to organic methods will return our soil to heath. And, really, can you expect to grow healthy food in unhealthy soil?

    Here’s a great article on the subject: http://newfarm.rodaleinstitute.org/depts/iowa_pioneers/1102/thompsons/index.shtml

  • Kate Gallagher

    The sooner people switch to organic foods in a big way the sooner the prices will drop. As we all know the more of anything grown/made/produced/manufactured the cheaper the cost to do so. If we demand organic foods on a large scale the prices will come down.
    I don’t have a choice, I have to eat organic foods and healthy animal products and a very limited amount of seafood (no shell fish at all!) so I can only hope we all can be eating healthy foods inexpensively soon.

  • 2kittens

    It would seem to me, after reading article + comments, that in order to bring the price down of organic foods would be to buy them more often. This will hopefully put a decline of pesticide/hormonally impacted produce as people choose to buy organic and eschew buying”mainstream” foods.
    I too am disabled and on food aassistance, and it IS cost-prohibitive for me to buy all organic. I buy such as I can, and must buy foods of questionable pesticide/hoemone content. If more people who can afford it buy organic, won’t the supply-demand turn towards organic? I wonder…it seems to make sense to me.

  • Debbie

    I notice corn is on the “safe” list. I guess they are not counting the insecticide that is bred INTO the crop!

  • hsl2000

    One other thing to consider in all of this: If we make too much of “the dirty dozen,” will there be people who will just take these concerns as a reason to avoid all fresh fruits and vegetables and go back to choosing overly processed foods instead? Is there any way to look at the relative problems with the pesticides on produce v. the many, many preservatives and additives used in pre-packaged foods? As noted by several above, many people will just not have the option of “safe,” organic foods so their choices have to be made among the lesser of the remaining “evils.”

    (Oh, and not all farmers market produce is pesticide-free. That is an assumption not to be made, as I learned last year when shopping for apples!)

  • jtlately

    I have been slowly making changes in my food choices over the last couple of years… buying local & trying to go organic when possible. Even though I have lots of choices w/grocery stores & a local farmers’ market, finding some things – such as strawberries – that are organic is challenging, if not outright impossible! So, am I to not eat them?

  • Jane

    “…finding some things – such as strawberries – that are organic is challenging, if not outright impossible! So, am I to not eat them?”

    I think the point is that you are being given the information so you can make an informed choice. If your desire to eat strawberries outweighs your desire to avoid pesticides, no one is going to stop you! Folks can also consider going vegetarian as a way to stretch food dollars, allowing them to buy more organics. It’s good for the planet and the animals, too! Thanks very much, PBS, for this list and the great new show. Nothing will EVER replace Bill Moyers, but we are already fans of Need to Know.

  • Tami Piccione

    Shame on America!

  • Crystal

    Good article…although informational, also disturbing!

    Growing up I was always careful about washing fresh fruits and veggies because of my intense allergies..but to know these “healthy” items could be contaminating me anyway or cause cancer is truly sad. Maybe Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity intiative should look into this as well since the major recommendation is to replace processed foods with fresh…we need to teach our children how to properly clean these foods to prevent any further harm.

  • Christina

    For those people that can’t find organic foods in your stores, ask the stores to carry them. : )

  • http://madblogz.com/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce-need-to-know-pbs/ The dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce | Need to Know | PBS | Health

    [...] The dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce | Need to Know | PBS [...]

  • Wendy

    We are unfortunately caught up in the duality of organic vs conventional. there is the additional category of not-organic (because the rules of organic are so strict) and yet no pesticides or limited pesticide use. There are many small farmers that use these practices and if you can find and support them, you will have cheaper, non-organic, pesticide-free food.
    And moving away from our monolithic farming culture will not leave us hungry or nutrient-poor. We are already hungry and nutrient poor! There is plenty for everyone if we choose to feed everyone.

  • http://www.happyhomeblog.com/?p=957 The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen | The Happy Home

    [...] why are potatoes such high risk, but sweet potatoes appear on the list called “The Clean 15“?  The cleanest veggies that are lowest in pesticides.  So very [...]

  • http://blog.bellavista-apartments.com/go-green/is-buying-organic-really-necessary/ Is buying organic really necessary? | Bella Vista Luxury Apartments

    [...] foods that take in a lot of pesticides, and a list of foods that are practically pesticide free.  These lists are called the “Clean 15″ and the “Dirty Dozen”. This seal guarantees that what you're purchasing has been certified as organic by the US [...]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742555119 Anna Nauck Bradley

    The only problem I see with the “Clean 15″ is the sweet corn. Corn is very often genetically engineered, and many find GMO crops alarming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742555119 Anna Nauck Bradley

    The only problem I see with the “Clean 15″ is the sweet corn. Corn is very often genetically engineered, and many find GMO crops alarming.

  • http://www.getwellgrounded.com/pesticides-fruits-veggies-my-rebuttal-to-dr-oz Pesticides, Fruits & Veggies: My Rebuttal to Dr. Oz | Get Well Grounded

    [...] are a number of fruits and veggies that are relatively safe to buy conventionally grown (“The Clean Fifteen“, for starters), so you can save your money by not buying organic for those items and you [...]

  • Jkvollmer

    Grow your own vegetables and fruit. Make your own compost. Have a few rabbits and chickens (You vegans don’t have to eat them!!). Use their “organic” fertilizer in your garden (Politicians may eat this). Pick resistant types. Use screens and nets for some pests, grow in raised gardens (You survivalists can eat the grasshoppers and grubs). Can your harvested food. (Did you know that you can get pectin from Quince and apples). Have a couple of well maintained bee hives. Milk your own cow and make your own butter and cheese. Learn to use root hormone. Graft your trees. Build a greenhouse (not a “Green” house for you environmentalists and California politicians). Walk someplace instead of driving. Consider an electric vehicle with solar rechargeable batteries ( There are plenty of do it yourself methods on the Internet instead of paying for GM, Toyota, Nissan, et al’s outrageous prices).

  • Debbie M.

    from one Debbie to another, well said. I live in New England and the weather gets cold. My husband and I planted a garden last spring which lasted well into the late fall. It was very easy and inexpensive. This year I will be purchasing a small inexpensive greenhouse so that I can start earlier and have a larger garden. I’ve saved so much money growing my own veggies. It can be done…..I work two jobs and go to school, have four kids and three grandkids. If you want it bad enough and save money just do it. And as Debbie said, buy from your local farmers.

  • Ev

    It is important to take responisibility for the food we eat. If you don’t mind GMO food, food swimming in poison, then eat the cheap food that the government has subsidized. If you value your health, eat organic, get to know your local farmers and support their efforts for sustainable farming or grow your own. You are what you eat is still applicable. With our increase in disease, you gotta wonder why.

  • nerdling

    i live in brooklyn in a low-to-mid-range income neighborhood. i’ve moved a couple of times since relocating to new york six years ago, but i always choose to stay in this particular neighborhood. my friends in trendier, more gentrified ‘hoods always ask me why and one of the biggest reasons is the grocery store here. their selection of conventional produce is always fresh and good looking, but surprisingly, they also carry a wide selection of organic produce and have organic and natural foods throughout the store. when there’s something i find frequently at whole foods but can’t find at my store, i ask and they’ll order it! and because it’s not a trendy chain grocer and not in a more affluent neighborhood, the prices are often less than what they are at whole foods for the same product. win-win!

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  • http://www.mindfultable.ca/2011/01/onions-indispensable-and-versatile/ Onions: Indispensable and Versatile – The Mindful Table

    [...] to reduce sprouting and extend shelf life. Organic onions are not. Onions are one of the “clean fifteen” fruit and vegetables in terms of pesticide use and [...]

  • http://www.altdotlife.com/?p=1150 Food Politics | altdotlife: Build your own village

    [...] CSAs… In short, it becomes about much more than just what’s for dinner. (On that note, click here for a list of clean/dirty veggies so you at least have a place from which to [...]

  • http://www.bartertowngr.com/2011/02/08/food-to-come-vol-2/ FOOD TO COME VOL. 2!!!!! | BARTERTOWN
  • Anonymous

    but strawberries are my favorite, why cant they be on the clean 15

  • Sue

    Flys feast on dead rats…..

  • K_blass

    Driscolls strawberries offers an organic version and often sold at Kroger & Whole Food grocery stores.

  • http://www.skinnybliss.com/does-fruit-cause-weight-gain-tips-for-keeping-fruit-from-sabotabing-your-diet.html Does Fruit Cause Weight Gain? How to Keep Fruit from Sabotaging Your Diet

    [...] 50 on the scale. Also be sure to consume organic fruits — for some guidelines check out the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list of produce to determine which ones you can buy safely [...]

  • Elizabeth

    Sure, sounds great, assuming you have the space, means and money to do so…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kurt-Matthew-Pfeiffer/1336276678 Kurt Matthew Pfeiffer

    Are you kidding me?!?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kurt-Matthew-Pfeiffer/1336276678 Kurt Matthew Pfeiffer

    It is simply unbelievable to me that a peach that I get at my local grocery store can have up to 47 chemicals on it!  I mean is it really that important to have the perfect peach?!?  I am one who tries to eat as health as possible, as well as stay away from toxins or altered foods as much as possible.  Heck, I even thought about adding colloidal supplements to my daily regiment to help in removing existing toxins.  This just totally encourages my commitment to eating foods that are produced and grown locally.  At least then you have some what of an idea on how there grown and produced!

  • http://2doulasonamission.com/2011/07/14/food-organics-gmos-articles/ 2 Doulas On A Mission » Blog Archive » Food: Organics & GMOs Articles

    [...] Top 15 Dirty & Clean Produce Items  [...]

  • Laurak25

    For what?  Having a food supply that is available to all.  Including the poor…..SNAP is available, the new name for food stamps……We are living longer than ever; so much so that it is a problem.  Think about what you are saying.

  • Laurak25

    For what?  Having a food supply that is available to all.  Including the poor…..SNAP is available, the new name for food stamps……We are living longer than ever; so much so that it is a problem.  Think about what you are saying.

  • Laurak25

    For what?  Having a food supply that is available to all.  Including the poor…..SNAP is available, the new name for food stamps……We are living longer than ever; so much so that it is a problem.  Think about what you are saying.

  • Queenking415

    what area of brooklyn is this market in?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SR2N2FEGWG7QX6VJXZQ673ZRGM Rookie

    Mem’s response is we must keep on eating the toxic foods because there are no problems with it. The person is deceptive, shameful, and a perfect textbook PR piece for the corportation selling the chemicals. I don’t know how people can sleep at night writing these things knowingly being deceptive. 

    I hope I am not too late to address this. I came across it and found it to be a piece of misinformation at best and out right manipulation for an ignorant public at worst. You are not going to fool any nutrition experts or leading researchers not being funded by the same companies. However, you are going to fool a lot of bystanders the same way Goldman sacs pillage people’s 401k with their AAA Mortage Backed Securities. This is more a political PR rather than a science piece. Pesticides and antibiotics are not the same. Ask your physician if you don’t believe me. Antibiotics target specific biochemical pathways to prevent the bacteria from utilizing essential enzymes and minerals. Pesticides act more like free radicals. Once its in your body, you have ZERO control of it. 

    You are not going to convince anyone that the stuff at high doses will kill you is good for you at low doses. Its like arguing taking cyanide in low doses have is like taking antibiotics. 

    There is overwhelming agreement in the scientific community that pesticides are bad for health. They don’t agree on the RANGE of its detriments and the EXACT pathway and EXACT problems. 

    The REASON?
    It is not because pesticides are good for you. It is because our technology CURRENTLY is not advance enough to have 100% clear cut evidence. 

    The FDR is universally know (yes even among industry as being underfunded and very probusiness) How do I know this? My college professor was once working for the FDA. Eventually after more than one decade there, she taught classes instead and went vegetarian with very rare meats. Her reason. The FDA is very pro-business and under regulated. 

    You don’t have to believe me. You can check it for yourself. Look at the funding for the FDA, look at its employee number, and look at how much food it has to inspect and MOST importantly, look at its previous failures from MAD COW to E. Coli poisoning. 

    Like I have said, I don’t know how mem can sleep at night knowing writing these type of information. Then again, Nixon was asked how history would view him after WATERGATE. His response, WHOSE history. Right on. If you believe ANYONE has the answer, then you are probably unfamiliar with history.

    People believe race, location, speech, and wealth is a good factor in judging people. I say their food says a lot more about them than any of those factors. 

    Suggested Reading List:

    Silent Spring

    China Study

    Prevent and reversing heart disease (Among the reviewers is a former director of the NIH) 

    Like a close friend told me. If you want to be a lawyer, you must learn from the best of the lawyers. If you want to be a successful speculator, you must study with the best speculators. If you want to learn to eat healthy and not become the 2/3 Americans who have cancer or heart disease by 70, you have to learn healthy. Governments dont exist in a vacuum. They have to balance interests. If you believe governments will fight tooth and nail for your health, then you must also believe the current system of social security will be around for the next 30 years and the dollar will still be the world’s reserve currency. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SR2N2FEGWG7QX6VJXZQ673ZRGM Rookie

    It is not necessary.  It is a matter of price. The US agriculture is one of the most successful industries. Its only rivaled by exports of weapons. Why? All the small farmers are pushed out and bankrupt and their farming has been replaced with chemicals/chemicals and chemicals. Its a LOT cheaper to use chemicals and genetic engineer. The EU de facto outlaws one and heavily regulates the other in many cases because they care about its people more. Then again, they were smart enough to elect welfare governments. The US seems to be struggling with basic concepts, but this depression will almost certainly change them. 

    Back to me, the US is now exporting foods globally because it is so competitive. Mexicans buy US foods because it is so cheap. I don’t understand why people fear Obamacare when they are getting the same thing with their food. 

    The food is HEAVILY subsidizer and you have to buy it simply because they have 90-100% of the market share. You have no alternatives and the whole foods is not price friendly. If doctors had the same rules as the FDA on the corporations, there will be so many lawsuits that every hospital in the nation would be bankrupt from malpractice. You can bet Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Obama, Dick Chenney is not eating the same food you are. Even the Mexican drug lords are probably eating organic. The only people that seem not to know are the consumers. All foods are never equal. Even organic is not equal. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SR2N2FEGWG7QX6VJXZQ673ZRGM Rookie

    We are not living longer. Look at the obesity rates and the amount of chemicals used since the 50s, normalized both curves to account for the inflation in population. 

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  • Roolz

    While I do agree that its alarming that some of these fruits and vegetables have so many pesticides, I do find it irritating that so many commenters seem to be “anti-subsidized food,” and encourage finding better produce elsewhere. I understand the point, but don’t you all realize how elitist this sounds? Many who want to feed their families healthy food can’t afford to go out and buy hormone-free, local, organic, free-range food. The problem has to do with the encouragement of corporate farming by the government. I do think the government should focus more on promoting and helping local farmers within local regions, even subsidizing these farmers at times. Its easy for us to sit her and say “this is easy, just buy organic,” but we must remember there are others in this country without access to these types of information and resources, and it is important that we find a federal government-based way to help solve this issue. 

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  • http://www.bambooki.com/blog/greening-your-home-from-ceiling-to-floor/ Greening Your Home From Ceiling to Floor

    [...] food industry. If you want a clean bill of health for your family, familiarize yourself with the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen to see which produce items are most heavily treated with chemicals. Consider [...]

  • http://wineandhoneys.com/?p=1559 Say No to Ill-Treated Beef and Yes to Vibrant Veggies » The Land of Wine and Honeys

    [...] list of “must be organic” produce, check out this great link offered by PBS titled “The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15.” Print a copy and take it with you to the market until you have it memorized. This way, you can make [...]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1790724191 Victoria Lamb

    Or you could try growing them yourself. My brother and his wife have been experimenting with 3′ x 3′ raised beds with a metal frame attached that accommodates a heavy clear plastic cover for the top and sides. They had an abundance of organic produce during the summer, a nice harvest of fall veggies, and they still have potatoes, swiss chard, squash and salad greens (and it’s January!) protected nicely from cold but getting lots of sun. 

  • http://www.buycoffeeonlinex.com/buy-espresso-online/9-things-you-shouldnt-buy-at-grocery-stores.html 9 Things You Shouldn't Buy at Grocery Stores | Buy Coffee Online

    [...] Some fruits and veggies. PBS put together two lists of fruits and vegetables that are worth buying-and not buying-at the grocery store, based on the [...]

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H6SEK7HBSA5YDOKY7EDI6E3IIA Steev U

    darn….i eat a lot of blueberries, and organic cost twice as much, not to mention it is grown across the street from the non-organic produce….i am staying in the middle of berry country and see it everywhere……guess i’ll just have to take that risk

  • http://groceryandcouponsvip.com/grocery-and-coupons/9-things-you-shouldnt-buy-at-grocery-stores/ 9 Things You Shouldn't Buy at Grocery Stores « Grocery and Coupons

    [...] Some fruits and veggies. PBS put together two lists of fruits and vegetables that are worth buying-and not buying-at the grocery store, based on the [...]

  • Tamio

    Beware of buying from farmers markets neighborhood farms and road side stands. Unless it is certified USDA organic it probably isn’t. I live in a rural farm area reknown for its produce. Apples , peaches, cherries, berries, grapes, tomatoes, corn etc. Many firms of farm to table retailers available. The only thing buying this way guarantees is that you probably paid several times more then supermarket cost. I have shopped.frequently and when inquiring of locale and farming methods found items from all over the country and from small home gardens to purchasing of commercial farm rejects. If you want a safe produce supply veiw your own. Period. Every city large and small has community gardens, high quality mini green houses are readily available. The only excuse is lack of desire to. It is way cheaper then the organic food in the local grocery store. Inconvenient but cheaper and then you can’t whine and blame someone else when you get sick and die. Personally I will buy from my local grocer and when I become ill sue them the growers and the subsidisers of this contaminated garbage. Just my get rich plan tho.

  • lehich

    don’t worry, life is a deadly disease with 100% mortality rate, we all will die and btw it sucks to die healthy :)  

  • Claudia Finelle

    and this list is not taking under account gmo’s

  • Claudia Finelle

    I just read an article mentioning that middle class children who’s parents try to feed them fresh produce, have a higher toxic load than lower income children who eat more processed foods, because of the pesticides in conventional produce.

  • Claudia Finelle

    I just read an article mentioning that middle class children who’s parents try to feed them fresh produce, have a higher toxic load than lower income children who eat more processed foods, because of the pesticides in conventional produce.

  • Claudia Finelle

    Bill Moyers is back,yey!    and NOTHING beats organic fresh strawberries off the vine. Find a pick your own farm even if you have to travel to it(I know ,not so green) but a fresh,vine ripened strawberry is proof of the existance of God.

  • Claudia Finelle

    Bill Moyers is back,yey!    and NOTHING beats organic fresh strawberries off the vine. Find a pick your own farm even if you have to travel to it(I know ,not so green) but a fresh,vine ripened strawberry is proof of the existance of God.

  • http://www.countryconsultant.com/blogspot/?p=2477 I’ll Have A Salad … Hold The Poison | Country Consultant – Living The Good Life

    [...] to PBS.ORG’s Need To Know, The fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list, when conventionally grown, tested positive for [...]

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  • http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/organic-foods-not-always-safer/ Organic Foods Not Always Safer

    [...] with any ‘cide. Testing done on foods has prompted some organizations to create a list called “The Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15″. The “Dirty Dozen” list includes produce that is generally high in pesticide and [...]

  • Zixxer108

    I live in the country in southern MN.  My neighboring sweet corn field was sprayed by plane with pesticide 2 weeks before it was harvested.  yum yum.  USDA = currupt..period.

  • Zixxer108

    The 2nd to the last paragraph is priceless. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sheri-McMahon/100000296589405 Sheri McMahon

    How do you pressure wash strawberries?

  • http://organicvsconventional.com/uncategorized/the-clean-15-the-dirty-dozen The Clean 15 & The Dirty Dozen : Organic vs Conventional

    [...] Referenced: PBS Need To Know [...]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1390062434 Star Fish

    Its better to savor the experience of life in its purest form. Try taking a bit of time with a blindfold, and a lover.. taste the difference between the organic non gmo versus the pesticide/gmo stuff. If one truly savors life then we can feel and taste the difference in our quality of living. 

  • http://hellowellness.info/?p=163 The Dirty Dozen | Hello Wellness, LLC

    [...] purchasing from the organic section as much as possible due to its high rate of pesticide use. This article from PBS also tells you which produce is found to be cleaner, containing little or no traces of [...]

  • http://www.facebook.com/tseibertpoirot Tarah Seibert Poirot

    Always a good reminder!

  • http://www.clickaclass.com/blog/2012/03/21/wellness-week-7-favorite-tips/ Wellness Week – 7 Favorite Tips | ClickAClass Blog

    [...] rule of thumb:  if it’s an animal product or by-product, if it’s one of the so-called Dirty Dozen, or if it’s something we eat more than twice a week, it’s worth some extra effort and [...]

  • Poeface419

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  • Gonebirdy

    A rather useless comment. A healthy diet, and all that that involves, can definitely have a positive influence on length and quality of life.
    Also, in my opinion, dying healthy might be the way to go.

  • Mrvantee

    Sweet corn on the clean list? Maybe for pesticides, but that doesn’t make it safe. We are obviously not even mentioning GMOs in these lists.

  • http://www.crossfitdoneright.com/2012/04/06/when-to-buy-organic-produce/ When To Buy Organic Produce | CrossFit DoneRight

    [...] The dirty dozen and clean fifteen of produce. No smiling in CrossFit Becky! [...]

  • http://pendleton-gazette.com/going-back-to-basics/ Avoid Chemicals in Your Daily Life by Going Back to the Basics | Pendleton-Gazette.com

    [...] purchase USDA organic produce can help reduce pesticide exposure through the foods you eat. Keep a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15” handy when you shop for groceries. [...]

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t trust ANY information given by our government. The good of the people is usually sacrificed for the good of the corporations that sell us this crappy food. ORGANIC and HOME GROWN is the only way to go, at least until they louse that up too.

  • http://www.myhomehealthier.com/we-eat-this-not-that-made-in-china-fruit-snacks/ We Eat This, Not That: Made in China Fruit Snacks | My Home Healthier

    [...] Strawberries (non-organic Strawberries are on the Dirty Dozen, Get [...]

  • Anonymous

    Don’t confuse “local” with “organic”!!  EVERY farm is “local” to the people around it.  Most farms use tons of pesticides.  Being local does NOT mean they use less pesticides.  And, if a local farmer tells you “it’s organic, it’s just not certified because the certification costs too much”… they are breaking the law!  They are not supposed to promote a product as organic unless it is certified.  Although some farmers might have good intentions and try to reduce the pesticide usage, I guarantee no farmer will follow all the exhaustive laws/regulations set forth in the National Organic Standards Program (NOSP) unless they are reaping the benefits of organic prices.  They are like anybody else… some are honest, some are not.  There are a lot of people trying to sell products who will say anything nowadays.  If you want to trust them if they say they are attempting to produce a less toxic product, that’s your choice.  I prefer a third party to go verify that they are buying organic seed and employing organic farming methods.  That’s what certification is all about.  It’s a personal choice.  I just want to make sure people understand the difference in terms so they can make an educated choice.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Rookie’s reply to this comment.  However, I’ll say that it is possible that Mem actually believes this stuff.  There are a lot of people that believe the lies Monsanto has propagated.  THERE IS NO FOOD SHORTAGE.  There is a food DISTRIBUTION problem.  In addition, the monoculture of corn and soy is destroying the soil.  The popular myth is that GMO crops require less pesticide.  Actually, over time they are requiring more and more pesticides.  If you’re not a paid whore for the industry, and you really believe what you say, Mem, then I ask you to do a little research.  Read Jeffrey Smith’s “Seeds of Deception”.  Look at the activism of Vandana Shiva.  Jeff’s book goes through the scientific information on GMO’s, the politics, the media blackout, etc.  Think about it.  Monsanto has had entire documentaries made about it.  What other company can we say that about?  The makers of Agent Orange are trying to patent and own the very essence of life… our seeds.  They then want to force us to contaminate it before ingesting it.  It’s sick.  Even some of their own scientists believe the lies that we excrete all the BT.  There are studies that suggest that, not only do we NOT secrete all of it, but that it can remain permanently in our intestines.  Go to Amazon and search for “seeds of deception” and the “gmo trilogy”… It’s a package deal for about $18.45.  Less than the cost of a pizza.  It’s the book packaged with the 2 DVD 1 CD trilogy.  Watch and read.  I guarantee it will change your life.  If you work for Monsanto… I guarantee it will raise questions that you will want answered.  Stop drinking the kool-aide.  Monsanto and its lawyers have had a revolving door with the FDA.  Michael Taylor was the lawyer for Monsanto and then became the head of the FDA.  THE ONLY REASON THAT GMO’S ARE IN OUR FOOD SUPPLY IS BECAUSE HE CREATED THE POLICY IN 1992 THAT SAID SOMETHING TO THE EFFECT THAT “WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY DIFFERENCE”… THAT’S WHAT THE FDA HAS GONE ON FOR 20 YEARS!!!!!  The political reality of Monsanto’s control over our food supply is mind-boggling.  Please learn about these issues so that you will stop misleading people about their food.  Thank you.

  • Vl1

    Sweet corn? This makes no sense! I wouldn’t eat any corn unless it is LOCAL organic (so that you can confirm its origin), as it may be GMO corn, where the pesticide is genetically a part of the plant! The government is a subsidiary of Monsanto, who is the maker of GMO corn. To trust this list is to trust Monsanto. To trust Monsanto is to ask for ill health for this generation and many to come. 

  • http://milkandhoneyliving.com/2012/05/20/our-real-food-journey-11-ways-to-save/ Our {Real Food} Journey: 11 Ways to Save! | Milk & Honey Living

    [...] The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen [...]

  • http://skiptracingtool.com/ Try this

    Wow! this is a good list “ These lists were compiled using data from the United States Department of Agriculture on the amount of pesticide residue found in non-organic fruits and vegetables after they had been washed”..i appreciate you sharing this with us…

  • http://www.paleoplan.com/2012/06-07/eating-paleo-on-a-budget/ Paleo On A Budget | Paleo Plan

    [...] much better when they’re organic due to their low or nonexistent pesticide residues. This list of the “Dirty Dozen and Clean 15″ tells you which items are best bought organic and which are unnecessary to buy.Here’s [...]

  • http://www.webworldismyoyster.com/2012/06/10/trigger-happy-uncle-sam-and-i/ वसुधैव कुटुंबकम – Trigger Happy Uncle Sam and I

    [...] The dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce [...]

  • Awake

    Holy $%#! who funded this “research”? Hawaii  still uses DDT and clordaine on pinapple fields, through some good-ole-boy style epa exemptions. And this list bypasses the gmo component all together. Donʻt be fooled by political/fiscal propoganda dressed up as concern for your well being. Buy ORGANIC food people… better yet get free of the corruption altogether and grow your own!

  • 13Cmonpeople

    Hawaii probably produces a large percentage of the pineapple supply, and they are on the clean list!  So much for DDT being harmful.  Because of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” fictional scare novel, the world has been deprived of the benefits of DDT.  Millions of people have died from malaria as a result of it being banned for forty years; but not one person has died from DDT, nor was it ever proven to even be dangerous to us.  Carson merely believed it made the eggshells of birds thinner, using questionable research data.  And Pittsburgh has now renamed a bridge after her.  What a joke.
    That GMO corn sure tastes better.  What’s the problem?  Where do you get your corn (seeds) to grow your own corn?  From the GMO corn farms secondary industry (selling seeds they don’t use)?  Do you perform amniocentesis on your seeds to verify the DNA is unaltered?  I didn’t think so.  I avoid the organic crap and the little bugs and their eggs and other organisms that pesticides get rid of for me.

  • Anonymous

     Thanks Jackie Pou,

    I am Sid Harth.

    I got here on account of one link. Actually, PBS invoked my name, Oops, a link to one of my blog entry.

    People have done it before, including but not limited to Cialis and Viagra vendors from Canada, The Wall Street Journal has a separate blog hosted by it. They used this same trick to bring people searching my blog articles.

    Why would PBS get into such nasty habit?

    PBS could give me a separate blog space and I may praise them till kingdom come.

    …and I am Sid Harth@webworldismyoyster.com

  • http://www.naturefirstcleaningservices.com/2012/06/clean-up-your-diet/ Clean Up Your Diet | Nature First Cleaning Services

    [...] These foods should be top priority for choosing organic, as they have been proven to be the most contaminated with pesticides and other harmful chemicals. The Environmental Working Group derived this list and states that eating certain foods organically helps to eliminate 80% of all toxins we normally consume. The list can be found here [...]

  • http://www.care2.com/greenliving/dont-worry-so-much-about-pesticides-in-your-food-really.html Don’t Worry So Much About Pesticides in Your Food. Really? | Care2 Healthy Living

    [...] [...]

  • http://www.sproutingsky.com/309/ Sprouting Sky

    [...] the entire article follow this link to PBS:  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/ This entry was posted in General Topic. Bookmark the [...]

  • http://crossfituws.com/rest-07132012/ Rest 07132012 | CrossFit Upper West Side, NYC

    [...] Also, a useful PBS article on the FDA’s study about which foods you should really buy organic, and which ones don’t suck up the pesticides anyway:  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/ [...]

  • http://www.mygutsy.com/2012/07/31/fresh-summer-fruit-giveaway/ Fresh Summer fruit GIVEAWAY! | Gutsy

    [...] you can’t buy all organic, then at least by local at your farmers market, or go stick to the clean 15 rule. Just make sure any un-organic produce is not GMO, [...]

  • http://evolvingpf.com/2012/08/how-to-cut-your-food-spending-reducing-grocery-costs/ How to Cut Your Food Spending – Reducing Grocery Costs | Evolving Personal Finance

    [...] organic judiciously.  I hope we’ve all heard by now of the clean fifteen/dirty dozen and similar lists.  If you’re currently buying lots of organic/free range/pick your label food, [...]

  • http://www.spoonfulofsugarfree.com/2012/08/09/cynthia-sass-7-nutrition-strategies-to-optimize-athletic-performance/ Cynthia Sass’ 7 Nutrition Strategies to Optimize Athletic Performance | Spoonful of Sugar Free

    [...] 5. Go Organic as much as possible. Some say that organic food doesn’t have any more health benefits than conventional, but it does! Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables protect the food against parasites and other natural dangers to food. When the produce is sprayed with chemicals, though, the produce doesn’t have to produce as many antioxidants to defend itself. Organic is expensive, though, so try buying organic for meat and the “dirty dozen.” [...]

  • mbee1

    this list is just garbage.  The pesticide levels are within the safe guidelines so they have zero effect on anybody.  These bozos are the modern equivalent of medicine men spreading the sheep bones to tell your fortune and health, pure fakery.  Al;l the banned fruits and vegetables have necessary nutrients to keep you alive and well.

  • http://www.organiccity.co.uk/2012/08/where-to-buy-organic-food-in-penang-tips-from-the-t/ Where To Buy Organic Food in Penang – Tips from the T | organiccity.co.uk

    [...] we also get some things at the wet market that don’t have to be organic ( according to the dirty dozen/clean 15 type lists) like pineapples, mangos, avocados, bananas etc.. Although we do get somethings organic even if on [...]

  • Caroclara

    If you mean silver colloidal supplements watch out. The neighbor guy turned a nice shade of blue…permanently.

  • organic is the way

    mbee you are so wrong and when you get cancer or diabetes or become obese or have a muffin top and you think about why you have all of those things, remember this post

  • organic is the way

    and the  list doesn’t ban the dirty dozen, it’s just that you should buy the dirty dozen organic

  • http://www.boulderintegrativetherapies.com/the-dirty-dozen-boulder-counseling-news-post/ The Dirty Dozen | Boulder Counseling News Post | Boulder Integrative Therapies

    [...] PBS Filed Under: [...]

  • http://www.boulderintegrativetherapies.com/do-pesticides-affect-your-mental-health-and-development-boulder-therapist-news-post-2/ Do Pesticides Affect Your Mental Health and Development? | Boulder Therapist News Post | Boulder Integrative Therapies

    [...] exposure is to buy organic produce.  If you are unable to eat all organic produce, focusing on the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables that carry the highest concentration of pesticides.  For the full article, [...]

  • http://usedguitarsonl.shikshik.org/2012/09/04/cleaning-produce/ Cleaning produce | Usedguitarsonl

    [...] The dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce | Need to Know | PBSMay 13, 2010 … Which fruits and veggies really need to be organic, and which don’t? A new report provides guidance. [...]

  • Bryan Zittlow

    I live  in the Salinas Valley,”The Salad Bowl Of The Wold.”I remember hearing the crop dusters ,doing their acrobatics while spraying the fields with piosons . I would be woken in the mornings with the sounds of the huge blades,just outside my bedroom window. Most of the nieghborhoods back right up to the fields with only a few feet seperating the fence lines with the fields.So the crop dusters fly as  close as possible to the fence lines and stop the spraying as they do a sharp upward motion,turn and swoop back down and continue the stream of pioson.I grew up with terrible allergies and eventually was diagnossed with cancer at the age 25.Im now 43 and have noticed that the ag.industry is still spraying piosons as they did when In was a child.I was able to film them spraying just feet away from two convalescent hospititals /retirement communities.If we must wash piosons  off our foods then it must not be safe to breathe,right?I dont see how they get away with this.No notices to warn the communities that they will be spraying.They do have a guy sit in a truck t warn people who may be out and about and get too close.So if you are walking by while the spraying is taking place you may be warned.If you are ou of site but just as close ,no warning.

  • http://www.cannoncrossfit.com/2012/09/18/shadow-boxing/ Shadow Boxing | Cannon Crossfit

    [...] What to buy, Organic? [...]

  • http://paleoparents.com/2012/guest-post-alex-boake-organic-week/ Guest Post, Alex Boake: Organic Week | Paleo Parents

    [...] fruits and vegetables. We are all on a bit of a budget, I’m sure, so that’s where The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen come into play. These two lists can help you decide which grocery items you should buy in organic [...]

  • Kathy

    This is why we should pray for our food before we eat it;

  • http://mischiefandnoise.com/to-be-or-not-to-be-organic/ To Be Or Not To Be…Organic! | Mischief & Noise & All Things Boys!

    [...] This “dirty dozen” list is something that I try very hard to adhere to.  The idea behind this list, as I understand it, is that these food items tend to absorb or contain more chemical residue in the parts that are eaten than other foods when grown non-organically.  Because of this, these would be the MOST IMPORTANT of all foods to buy organically.  This list is updated and changed occasionally, as new methods of growing practices are implemented. Here is the most recent list, as reported by PBS.org. [...]

  • http://coffeeandwhinelife.com/basic-tips-dirty-dozen-clean-15-foods/ BASIC TIPS: DIRTY DOZEN & CLEAN 15 – Coffee And Whine LifeCoffee And Whine Life

    [...] 100% can be very expensive and not always necessary. Here’s a list of items called the DIRTY DOZEN…which you should ALWAYS buy [...]

  • http://www.thelrmc.com/the-lrmc-presents-naturopathic-detox/ The LRMC presents: Naturopathic Detox | The LRMC

    [...] every day wellness. Shayla discussed simple ways to control your toxic intake including shopping The Dirty Dozen and The Green 15, and provided simple recipes for health and environmentally friendly cleansers and beauty [...]

  • http://www.healthylittlebaby.com/healthy-holidays-101-no-gulit-meal-plan-recipe-resources/ Healthy Holidays 101: No-Gulit Meal Plan Recipe & Resources

    [...] The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 of Produce Baby Led Weaning Basics The 90-10 Philosophy Blood Sugar [...]

  • http://tummyrumblr.com/gluten-free/it_probably_needs_truffle_salt/ It Probably Needs Truffle Salt | Tummyrumblr

    [...] one form or another, so make sure your potatoes at home are organic.  Need more information? Look here or [...]

  • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Zerses

    I agree with so many here who protest the pesticides, the lack of responsiblity of growing locally or even at home…
    The laziness of our nation is astounding.

  • Anonymous

    I would but my HOA doesn’t allow livestock. ;-)

  • Anonymous

    I think a golf ball washer might work better for strawberries. :-)

  • http://www.corymillerfitness.com/the-snack-attack-idea-list/ The Snack Attack Idea List – Cory Miller Fitness

    [...] decide between organic vs. non-organic to help your bottom line, you should know about the “Dirty Dozen.” Little savings here and there can still help you achieve eating healthy, while maintaining [...]

  • http://simplypaleo.com/2012/12/02/paleo-budgeting-23-tips-and-everything-you-need-to-know/ Paleo Budgeting- Everything You Need to Know – Simply Paleo

    [...] Obey the clean 15 and the dirty dozen [...]

  • simonsfriend

    And this will make my 2nd floor apartment awfully crowded. And I don’t think any of this is allowed in my lease.

  • http://www.hazelettes.com/?p=57 Responsible Eating | Hazelettes

    [...] article found on the PBS [...]

  • Doug27

    I’m sure the USDA didn’t use diluted bleach and soap, which WILL remove residues as well as all the e.coli provided by the unclean toilet habits of (most) crop pickers.

  • http://shalommama.com/how-to-eat-clean-on-a-budget How to Eat Clean on a Budget | Shalom Mama

    [...] contrary to popular belief, not all need to be organic. Ours certainly aren’t. Check out the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists for more [...]

  • http://csarecipes.com/?p=60 CSA Recipes » Blog Archive » The dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce

    [...] Credit: PBS.org [...]

  • http://www.diabetesdaily.com/voices/2012/12/all-about-smoothies/ All About Smoothies

    [...] neighborhoods are forbidden to use pesticides and chemicals that large growers use. Know the dirty dozen, which is a list of fruits and veggies that you should [...]

  • Chelsea

    Can I live next to you? lol

  • http://www.newlywedsonabudget.com/2013/01/beginners-guide-to-going-green-a-year-later/ A blog about newlyweds managing finances in relationships. | Newlyweds on a Budget

    [...] Buy organic produce if they’re on the Dirty Dozen List (Normal is okay for the Clean 15)  We now buy pretty much all organic produce except for whatever is on the Clean 15 list [...]

  • http://www.crossfitsaol.com/2013/01/nutrition-challenge-day-10/ Nutrition Challenge Day 10 | CrossFit Saol
  • Joan Thomas

    What good is this report to us if they used a high-power pressure water system to rate?

  • http://bugoutnutrition.com/survival-foods/inflammation-how-to-fix-it/ Survival Foods: How to Fix Inflammation

    [...] important to look for organic, but not always. When it comes to produce, look for organic with the dirty dozen, but feel free to buy the clean fifteen [...]

  • http://blondebostonian.com/2013/01/31/25-things-ive-learned-in-25-years/ 25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years | Blonde Bostonian

    [...] Organic food is worth it, but be realistic about it. Know your dirty dozen and the clean fifteen lists. Also, buy organic and cage-free, free range, grass fed, etc. when it comes to [...]

  • http://www.thepreppycarpenter.com/2011/10/11/green-home-living/ Green Home Living… |

    [...] Side note; the dirty 12 are the ones you really want to try and buy organic… image; pbs There are a plethora of natural cleaning formulas so follow the link for a guide. image; [...]

  • http://truelavender.com/2013/02/spicy-health-and-curried-vegetables-with-coconut-rice/ Spicy Health and Curried Vegetables with Coconut Rice | True Lavender

    [...] One bunch of leafy greens, washed and thinly sliced (kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard – buy organic because leafy greens are on the dirty dozen list) [...]

  • http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/eating-healthy-the-frugal-way/ Eating Healthy the Frugal Way | Free Homeschool Deals ©

    [...] it comes to eating healthy and walk away from the rest guilt-free.  (Some people like to use the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 as a guide for buying [...]

  • http://homespunlove.com/the-one-where-im-a-hippie-about-baby-food/ The one where I’m a hippie about baby food | Homespun Love

    [...] is allowing. So I have tried to stick with fresh fruits and vegetables-trying to keep the “Dirty Dozen” organic, and I’m more careful these days about where we get the meat we eat in our [...]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003554653152 Kyle Renner

    Speaking as someone from Toronto- I know stores like rowe farms or the big carrot that sell organic versions of the “dirtier” produce for relatively low prices- a package of mixed greens for salad, for example, is only 3.99$
    Another good thing to do is to cut out other forms of unhealthy things in your life- like smoking, for example. You would not believe how many people I’ve seen going on and on about the “pesticide on produce” whilst smoking cigarettes, and at rates of maybe a half-pack per day.
    Yeah, excessive pesticide exposure is bad. But I would say that 70 carcinogenic properties per cigarette, with every drag, is far worse.

  • Jim in Vancouver

    I’ve had a large garden most of my adult life. I grow green beans, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, apples and pears. Every few years I have to spray the beans for aphids, and always the apples for worms. Yes, I’ve used soap, etc.. But when ‘natural’ does not work to save a crop, I have chosen to use a chemical rather than loose that crop. I use natural fertilizer when available. I have learned from organic farmers in our county (we have lots of them) that in our county, organic means you did not use a chemical that is on a list (yes, a list). When they have a disease or pest, they use a product not on the organic nono list. Some products are considered ‘natural’, but that does not ensure it is safe for all humans. These ‘natural’ remedies are generally ‘safe’ for most of us, but are harmful to some. In most communities there are no official and legal guidelines for what is Organic. It is simply a word with a pristine definition but a not so pristine practice.

  • http://www.cakedarla.com/2011/06/14/national-strawberry-shortcake-day/ Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake Recipe | Darla's Cake Blog

    [...] the only Driscoll’s strawberries there were organic, because strawberries are on the “dirty dozen” list, so it’s a good idea to opt for organic whenever possible. Especially when you [...]

  • http://www.facebook.com/rona.alexander1 Rona Alexander

    Frozen Organic berries are usually cheaper than fresh chemical berries.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rona.alexander1 Rona Alexander

    We choose to buy Organic, local, grass fed, wild caught, free range because we want to stay healthy. You should be thankful that we are staying off of government assistance and not filling up the cancer units, ER’s and nursing homes. I believe organic is normal and chemicals are abnormal!! Read some of the Haz Mat Material Data Safety Sheets on some of the stuff in processed foods. It is alarming!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rona.alexander1 Rona Alexander

    Colloidal silver is not the formulation that turns you blue. They must not had a pure form or it was ionic silver.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rona.alexander1 Rona Alexander

    It’s is PBS what do you expect?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rona.alexander1 Rona Alexander

    The government getting more involved will only make matters worse. Our government has already screwed up our food supply!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/glenn.lanham Glenn Lanham

    Obama does not care this man will and he is trying to kill you with

    Monsanto seeds ya ll need to wake up

  • http://www.liveclean.co.za/2013/05/10/things-you-should-never-eat-or-drink-ever/ Things You Should Never Eat or Drink, EVER! | LiveClean

    [...] Unwashed Raw ProduceIf you plan on eating your produce raw (like in a salad for example), then unless you are eating organic produce, remember to wash your raw veggies and fruit thoroughly to remove all pesticides. Interestingly the EWG (Environmental Working Group) have put together a list of the most and least pesticide laden produce. The Dirty Dozen and clean 15 of Produce [...]

  • http://debt-gone.com/how-to-lose-weight-without-breaking-the-bank-paleo-on-a-budget/ How to Lose Weight Without Breaking the Bank: Paleo on a Budget | Debt Gone

    [...] but that can get expensive. If at all possible, focus on buying at least these few items from the “The Dirty Dozen” [...]

  • Diane

    I’m confused. If 90% of our corn is GMO then how is sweet corn on the Clean 15 list? Shouldn’t I buy it organic as to certify that it’s not GMO? Can someone please explain this to me!!!

  • http://be-gluten-free.com/general/label-reading/ Label Reading

    [...] Which produce are high in pesticide residue and which are safe [...]

  • http://smartasset.com/blog/news/green-on-a-budget-tips-for-living-better-for-less-green/ Green on a Budget: Tips for Living Better for Less Green | SmartAssetSmartAsset Blog

    [...] pesticide exposure. If you’re curious how your fruits and vegetables measure up, check out the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen list. This will give you an idea of where you should spend your organic [...]

  • Marinette

    Since the FDA now has ex-Monsanto VPs running the place, how can we trust anything this administration has to say in this regard? This list needs to also include which of these foods is more or less likely to be GMO so we can avoid those as well. When pesticides are part of the genetics of a crop, are they any safer to eat than crops where pesticides have been applied externally or through the roots?
    When will the FDA require safety testing of GMO crops? When will the FDA require labeling of GMO crops? Probably not as long as Monsanto execs are dictating FDA policy.

  • http://www.looseleafnotes.com/2013/06/13-dont-smile/ Loose Leaf Notes » Blog Archive » 13: Don’t Smile

    [...] This week, I learned all kinds of things, like what vegetables hold more pesticide residue than others, the discovery of a species of giant bug that scientists [...]

  • lamk

    You completely missed Roolzs point. Enjoy being able to afford healthy eats for yourselves and the hell with everyone else. Perhaps you missed the point as it was too close to home.

  • sherri

    Generally, sweet corn (as differentiated from “dent corn” which is grown as a commodity) is NOT GMO.

    Commodity corn varieties can not be eaten off the cob like sweet corn can and is processed to extract various “food” substances from it….like corn starch, HFCS, meal etc.

  • http://www.checkmatesystem.com/?p=3913 PLU numbers on produce — CheckMATE

    [...] is important to buy organic for certain types of foods (check out the “dirty dozen”). Other foods can be a waste of money when you buy organic. For example, bananas have thick peels [...]

  • tanya

    to show that it is cleaner then than it would be in our kitchens

  • http://www.avocadoathlete.com/mimm-birthday-weekend-recap/ Avocado Athlete » MIMM Birthday Weekend Recap

    [...] time at Haymarket EVER?!? They don’t have any organic produce there, so we stayed away from the dirty dozen. If you’re not familiar with the reasoning behind organic produce, check out the [...]

  • Anonymous

    Have you read Silent Spring? Let’s start there…

  • http://www.avocadoathlete.com/mimm-summer-grilling-fruit-workouts-and-the-end-of-all-good-things/ Avocado Athlete » MIMM Summer Grilling, Fruit & Workouts and the END OF ALL GOOD THINGS

    [...] loads of fresh fruit. Once again, we stayed away from the non-organic fruit that is listed on the Dirty Dozen, but we got lucky this week and found some organic strawberries and blueberries! The strawberries [...]

  • http://huppiemama.com/food-challenge-week-1/ Food Challenge ~ Week 1 – Huppie Mama

    [...] leafy greens and lettuces are on the “dirty dozen” list, meaning they are most contaminated by pesticides – so remember to purchase [...]

  • http://homefitnessgeek.com/2013/07/08/when-healthy-eating-leads-to-madness-humor/ When Healthy Eating Leads to Madness (Humor) « Home Fitness Geek

    [...] example, if you’re trying to eat only organic produce, review the Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables which should be purchased from an organic source, and the Clean [...]

  • http://everythinghealthytv.com/2013/07/08/marianos-summer-grilled-peaches-recipe/ Mariano’s Summer Grilled Peaches Recipe » Everything Healthy TV | Everything Healthy TV

    [...] are organic since they hold in a high level of pesticides.  Check out this helpful list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 of Produce for more [...]

  • heather

    I don’t agree with mbee, but you are being silly. Pesticides do have carcinogens in them, and the residue in produce can be dangerous as it builds up in your body over time. But they do not cause diabetes or obesity. What a boneheaded response.

  • http://huppiemama.com/food-challenge-week-2/ Food Challenge ~ Week 2 – Huppie Mama

    [...] berries are on the “dirty dozen” list, meaning they are most contaminated by pesticides – so remember to purchase [...]

  • jay

    They irritate your belly causing bloating though :(

  • jay

    And this is why Americans believe Coke and McDonalds is health food :(

  • http://www.artisticvegan.com/grocery-shopping-with-a-vegan-pt-2/ Grocery Shopping with a Vegan! Pt 2 | Artistic Vegan

    [...] Buy organic as much as possible! Read about the dirty dozen and clean fifteen here! [...]

  • http://mysistereileen.org/2013/08/06/terrorist-scare-tests-obamas-campaign-claim-not-far-on-the-path-to-defeat/ Terrorist scare tests Obama’s campaign claim; not far on the ‘path to defeat’ | My Sister Eileen

    [...] The dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce | Need to Know | PBS http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen…/616/‎ [...]

  • http://blogs.naturalnews.com/getting-smarter-about-your-food/ Natural News Blogs Getting Smarter About Your Food » Natural News Blogs

    [...] to organics, it means buying organic with those items that are highly sprayed (known as the “dirty dozen“) and saving money by choosing conventionally grown items on the “clean 15″ list. [...]

  • sezzmi

    Really? So Obama started the Monsanto deal? Good god, some people can turn anything into politics. Guess he stole all your commas, as well.

  • http://www.hostesshub.com/archives/1532 3,000 Glasses of Red Wine in 30 Days

    [...] food choices.  I was passing by a local vitamin store last week and saw the sign below about the ‘dirty dozen’.  Again, not the first time I have heard the term, but a good reminder.  What are we putting into [...]

  • Adam

    No, but he signed into act the Monsanto Protection Act!!!! Lets face it he too is for big business and Monsanto.

  • Sarah

    I will not be buying strawberries or blueberries unless they are from a farmers’ market. For years I have been using them on my breakfast cereal, but lately, they don’t smell or taste the way they should. If this is genetic modification, God help us. What about nutrition changes in these mutants?

  • Henry

    Most of the GMO corn goes to animal feed, it’s not edible for humans. I don’t know how much of the corn we eat is GMO but it would definitely be lower than 90%

  • Luckeyy Luckey

    Americans have been consuming bad food since before Obama has been born I’m sure. Blaming one person won’t change anything.

  • Mary Jo Skorupa

    be leary, just because your at the farmers market does mean it is grown by the farmers,many people buy produce in bulk,and use the market to sell it!!!! its sometimes not any better than what you can get at the store, always ask if its organic and how long did it take to grow, if they dont know , that is yhe sign ,keep walking!

  • Techfreak

    Finally a intelligent word. Thanks,

  • Mama Al

    So the medical listing of thousands of birth defects from pesticide and other man made is a bunch of lies?

  • Mama Al

    There are organic seeds on the internt just type in heirloom seeds at a search eng.

  • Gabriela Cardiel

    maybe if they were provided sanitary places to work it wouldn’t be such an issue.

  • http://real2live.com/2013/09/19/dirty-dozen-vs-clean-15/ The Dirty Dozen vs The Clean 15 | Real2LiveReal2Live

    [...] PBS also has a very informative article posted about these two lists and you can read further details here on http://www.pbs.org. [...]

  • QueeNia AsheeMaat

    The FDA won’t require for the simple reason that you mentioned about who are VPs … They do label GMO … Just not in this country. Many exported goods are labeled GMO because other countries have strict guidelines to let consumers beware. And other countries have not been bought out by USA corporate greed!

  • QueeNia AsheeMaat

    Right compared to the intelligence of scientist that created Monsato Genetics/Seeds… Obama has the intelligence of a fly… So you are just posting Just to win friends…. ????

  • Product Launch

    Read my new post. “Wellness, Detox Strategies, Chemicals & Pesticides” http://www.insouranceseven.com/2013/09/wellnes-detox-strategies-chemicals-pesticides/

  • ABC123

    13Cmonpeople please eat more dirty dozen foods to rid the rest of the world of your hate and ignorance

  • http://gocheapgohome.com/eating-healthy-for-less/ 6 Things Your Mama Should Tell You: Eating Healthy for Less – Go Cheap or Go Home

    [...] that?  The 15 Fruits and Vegetables you  don’t  need to buy organic, and 12 you do.  Then learn who has the best prices on organic produce, and where you can find the rest for less. [...]

  • http://dumbellfitness.com/gmo-and-what-you-need-to-know GMO – And what you need to know!

    [...] organic (with the #9 leading the produce label) when possible. If not, check out the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 list, these lists group the conventionally grown fruits and veggies into highest/lowest levels of [...]

  • annie from NJ

    I buy organic when I can and I always always wash all fruits and veg in white vinegar and baking soda…then rinse and dry.. I steer clear of corn because of the conflicting reports..

  • annie from NJ

    I buy organic when i can afford to but I always always soak and wash all my fruits and veg in white vinegar, baking soda and cold water..then I rinse and dry…

  • http://chocolateandcarrots.com/2013/10/butternut-squash-mac-cheese Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese #fightpesticides | chocolate & carrots

    [...] tried my best to choose organic options when feeding my family. I definitely strive to buy the dirty dozen organic and when our budget allows it, purchase other organic products. Butternut squash is a [...]

  • http://mymedicalforumblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/when-is-it-ok-to-not-buy-organic-health-series-part-1/ When Is It Ok To Not Buy Organic? Health Series – Part 1 | My Medical Forum Blog
  • katieh

    GMOs and pesticides are separate (though related) issues.

  • http://leftcoastoracle.blogspot.com LeftCoastOracle

    “Remember, the lists of dirty and clean produce were compiled after the USDA washed the produce using high-power pressure water systems that many of us could only dream of having in our kitchens.”

    Guess I’ll continue to buy organic whenever possible, regardless of what list the item is on.

  • http://www.heartyhousewifeblog.com/?p=1328 2014 Resolution #1- Clean Eating. | Hearty Housewife

    [...] trying to decide if you should opt for organic ($$$$) foods or not, here is a helpful list that I have seen in many places on the internet.  The Dirty Dozen (celery, peaches, [...]

  • http://www.rootedblessings.com/31-days-to-a-more-vibrant-healthy-family-pantry-challenge/ 31 Days to a More Vibrant, Healthy Family | Pantry Challenge

    [...] produce you will find at the supermarket.  If you can’t purchase organics at least avoid the dirty dozen.   You can then limit your exposure to harmful chemicals.  I also like to buy produce from small [...]

  • http://dainty.is/2014/01/crockpot-veggie-soup/ Crockpot Veggie Soup » dainty.is

    [...] but could not find organic sweet potatoes at the store.  Thankfully sweet potatoes are part of the clean 15, so it is okay for an organic [...]

  • http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2014/01/11-new-ways-to-eat-healthy-on-a-budget.html 11 NEW ways to eat healthy on a budget

    [...] Along the lines of #2, sometimes organic produce is less expensive than the conventional version – it just may not be the one you were there looking for. Keep an eye out and read about the “dirty dozen”. [...]

  • http://www.brandnewvegan.com/featured/vegan-staples-for-the-brand-new-vegan/ Vegan Staples for the Brand New Vegan – Brand New Vegan | Brand New Vegan

    [...] and I guess the best thing to do here is buy what you can afford.  Let this quick chart of the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen from PBS help guide you.  If you can’t afford the organic – wash it really well when [...]

  • http://crossfitsobro.com/rest-07132012/ Rest 07132012 | CF SoBro

    [...] Also, a useful PBS article on the FDA’s study about which foods you should really buy organic, and which ones don’t suck up the pesticides anyway:  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/ [...]

  • http://fitbodyfulllife.com/2014/01/30-day-nutrition-challenge-5-ways-to-make-your-healthy-meals-super-healthy/ 30-Day Nutrition Challenge: 5 Ways to Make Your Healthy Meals, Super Healthy | FitBodyFullLife.com

    [...] the skin of the banana or orange peel, so does it matter? Well check out this list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” for guidance on your grocery [...]

  • http://realfoodandrealfitness.com/2014/01/what-is-real-food-where-do-i-start/ What is Real Food? Where do I start? | Real Food and Real Fitness

    [...] look at the Dirty Dozen for an idea of what has the worst pesticide residues. A general rule of thumb is thin skins such as [...]

  • http://ericakking.com/prosperity-day-7/ Day 7 | Prosperity Green Goddess Recipe (and Letting Go of Week 1 with Gratitude) – Mind. Heart. Stilettos.

    [...] a full list of the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen from [...]

  • sonia

    what about GARLIC?? I use a lot of it f/cooking etc….

  • http://crossfitsobro.com/rest-07132012-3/ Rest 07132012 | CrossFit SoBro

    [...] Also, a useful PBS article on the FDA’s study about which foods you should really buy organic, and which ones don’t suck up the pesticides anyway:  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/ [...]

  • http://themossketeers.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/the-sweetest-of-sweet-potatoes/ The Sweetest of Sweet Potatoes | all for one & one for all

    [...] love sweet potatoes. They’re healthy and they’re on the clean 15 list. We eat them regularly in various forms (Matt prefers this application). For a not-so-sweet recipe, [...]

  • Faye Green

    Many neighbors and other houses have avocado trees, mango trees, coconut palm and Key Lime tree in their back yard, they wont bother picking instead they go to the grocers and buy the same fruit. That doesn’t make sense to me. One new neighbor that moved in 10 months ago, cut a mango and an avocado tree down claiming it is interfering with the extension he is building onto a house (the trees were well away from the house and there was no interference for the extension) and also his satellite dish can’t receive signals well… We live in Key West (subtropics) 226 miles West/Southwest from Miami, 90 miles North of Havana, Cuba.

    The previous neighbor, before he passed away from using steroids (he was in his late 20′s) use to pick the fruits and give them to me every month. I would have constant supply of fresh avocados and mangoes, so I wouldn’t need to buy them at high price at the store.

  • jomay

    Organic and GMO are two entirely different issues. GMO food can be grown organically and be labeled as such. Also, farmers’ markets are no guarantee that produce will be either organic or non-GMO. In fact, they are largely unregulated, so sellers can label something ‘organic’ that has been grown using pesticides. It’s the Wild West out there.

  • http://lavishlynatural.com/dirtydozen/ The Dirty Dozen & The Clean 15 – Lavishly Natural | Lavishly Natural

    [...] a full list of the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen from [...]

  • http://mymedicalforum.com/blog/2013/12/when-is-it-ok-to-not-buy-organic-health-series-part-1/ When Is It Ok To Not Buy Organic? Health Series – Part 1 « MyMedicalForum
  • http://realhungergames.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/misconceptions-about-healthy/ Misconceptions About Healthy | The Real Hunger Games

    [...] it just means you have to be smart about how you shop.  When it comes to produce, you can use this chart to choose which foods to buy organic and which you can buy conventional.  Generally foods that you [...]

  • http://crossfitsobro.com/rest-07132012-4/ Rest 07132012 | CrossFit SoBro "The Bronx Box"

    [...] Also, a useful PBS article on the FDA’s study about which foods you should really buy organic, and which ones don’t suck up the pesticides anyway:  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/ [...]

  • http://fstopalyssa.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/groceries-2-0/ Groceries 2.0 | The Cutting Room Floor

    [...] it. We’ve decided to do some of our shopping at Whole Foods, things like produce high on the dirty dozen list. Sucks that it’s so expensive to shop organic. I’m sick of looking at this as a draft [...]

  • http://www.sybermoms.com/forums/2-main-event-all-debate-all-time/699114-organic-vs-natural-what-about-those-gmos-5.html#post11367538 organic vs. natural, and what about those gmo’s? – Page 5 – Sybermoms Parenting Forum

    [...] certified organic sources or local farmers. The list you are talking about is the clean 15. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know…f-produce/616/ __________________ Watchin' you for well over a decade. [...]

  • http://www.lindsaydahl.com/health-benefits-of-papaya/ Health benefits of papaya -lindsaydahl.com

    [...] but sometimes that’s not in one’s budget. The good news is papayas are on the “Clean 15” list of fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticide residue.Random [...]

  • Staci ‘Grainne’ Corcoran

    I wonder what they tested for? Sadly, apparently the answer isn’t “budnip”, which is used on the root veggies (among other things) to keep them from sprouting and soaks all the way through so you can’t wash it off. I’ll stick with my organics, thanks. :/

  • http://brandonwaloff.com/wtrmlnwtr-mkngmcrzy-expowest/ @Wtrmlnwtr #mkngmcrzy #expowest

    [...] a #crop. It’s not organic and doesn’t have to be (they say) bc watermelon is on the #clean15. Maybe it’s bc I love the simplicity of watermelon and love the fact that’s it’s [...]

  • http://wholehealthdork.com/2014/03/19/clean-eating-101/ Clean Eating 101 | Whole Health Dork

    [...] or fruit leather. Organic is best, but as it can be very expensive, we tend to stick to buying the dirty dozen organic and not worrying about the clean fifteen. Keep fruit on display and you’re more [...]

  • JanetLee

    THE SCIENCE OF SKINNY, by Dee McCaffrey (2012) says for produce, “If the item does not have a sticker on it, just look at the sign for a four or five digit PLU number. If the item is conventionally grown, the number has four digits (for example, 4060 stands for Broccoli.). if the item is organically grown, the number has five digits starting with a 9 (so it is 94060 for organic broccoli.) There’s also a third PLU option: A five digit number beginning with an 8, which indicates that the produce you were holding has been genetically modified.” She also says, “Organically grown foods are not genetically modified.” (Pp. 162-163)

  • http://personaltrainingappleton.com/whats-your-why/ What’s your why? | Amber Gloudemans | Certified Personal Trainer | Appleton

    [...] Jillian talked about the dirty dozen and clean foods, intake of calories, BMR, getting your butt in gear to lose weight and get healthy, [...]

  • http://healthandwellnesswithjo.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/unit-six-resource-list/ Unit Six: Resource List | Health and Wellness
  • theloneous honk

    those so called farmers markets are an absolute joke. you will not see any farmer ever unless they smear some mud on their usually clean boots, get on their tractor or 4×4 to go town and scrounge for some more subsidies for their ludicrously overpriced produce.

  • http://iheartfamilytravels.com/traveling-with-family-tips/99-tricks-to-saving-money-and-funding-family-travels/ 99+ Tricks to Saving Money and Funding Family Travels

    [...] Skip the organic label for the clean 15 produce products.  [...]

  • http://90in9.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/a-kids-point-of-view-the-dirty-dozen/ A kid’s point of view: the Dirty Dozen | 90in9

    [...] week Mom asked me to research the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15″ to help us figure out which organic fruits and veggies to get in our Green Bean Delivery [...]

  • amyinannandale

    The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit the use of GMOs.so if something has the USDA certified organic label it CANNOT be from genetically modified seed