Thursday, July 4, 2024

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

Cut up Apple

With food industry growing and changing in great proportions every year, we have no idea what the industry is doing to our food supply. 

The EWG publishes a yearly list of the produce that is the most heavily sprayed with pesticides and the fifteen crops that have the sprayed with the least amount of pesticides ! Good to Know ! 

strawberries in someone's. hands

Who is/are the EWG non-profit group? 
"We're advocates who won't quit. We're scientists that find solutions. We're people trying to make the safest choices for our health. At the Environmental Working Group, we believe that you should have easy access to the information you need to make smart, healthy choices. It’s this belief that inspired our president and co-founder, Ken Cook, to create EWG "(source)

Lets take a look at this year's list Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen:

Tomatoes on a wooden board

Dirty Dozen: 

2023 Dirty Dozen- Grown with the most pesticides
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale, Collard & Mustard Greens
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bell & Hot Peppers
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Green Beans

2023 Clean Fifteen- Has lower amounts of Pesticides 
  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Mangoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Carrots
Pesticides, chemicals, and genetically modified seeds provide blemish free crops that look pretty, have a longer shelf life, but may not be heathy in the long run.  I try to stick to organic when an item comes from the Dirty Dozen list!

 I know that organic produce is expensive- but so is a long term illness. I try to buy organic when I can. 

Organic produce is more reasonable from Trader Joe's, and I find a variety of frozen organic vegetables at Costco and BJ's. I do eat out in restaurants quite frequently and I know their salads and produce are not organic. 

Did you know that there are actually many law suits that have received settlements. In Pennsylvania :" Pennsylvania Roundup Lawsuit - $11 Billion Settlement ReachedTosi Firm"

Eat well, keep healthy, and enjoy! 

What are your views on organic verses commercially grown produce?  Do you think organic may be safer to eat? 

Vegetables in a Basket

My Notes: Information that I found online

Growers do use "natural" pesticides on organic produce which also needs to be regulated. According to USDA data, "organic foods have fewer pesticide residues than conventionally grown produce." 

Cancers that may be caused by roundup

"Besides Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer, exposure to Roundup can also cause following cancer:" (source)
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Large B Cell Lymphoma
  • Follicular Lymphoma
  • Mantle Cell Lymphoma
  • Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma
  • Mycosis Fungoides Lymphoma
  • Burkitt Lymphoma
  • 70+ Other Lymphoma 

 "Roundup is a popular residential and commercial weed killer made with glyphosate. Farmers, landscapers and agricultural workers have used it since 1974" (source).


  1. I buy from a local farmer that does not use pesticides. When I have to buy something from a grocery store, I go for organic, especially for the dirty dozen. 7 or 8 years ago I was having a lot of stomach issues. It took doing an elimination diet to find out glyphosate was the problem. So I have to be especially careful when eating out. Bagged salads, Panera bagels, pizza hut have some of the highest levels of it along with numerous others.

    1. Lori, that is both fascinating and scary that they were able to pin point that the pesticide glyphosate was the culprit. I'm going to pass this information on to a friend who has continuous stomach issues but no diagnosis. What kind of a doc did you go to ?

  2. Great additional info Judee, I have lived by this list for decades, and it was most helpful when we were NPS volunteers and grocery stores were few and far between.

    1. Melynda, I am always amazed with the lifestyle you have lived. So interesting!!

  3. It's always a good idea to buy the best produce we can afford. We need our bodies to work efficiently.

  4. I'm not a fan of Appeal. Though I can't recall how they spell it. OMG on the salads out. We were talking about that the other day at work and how they give us the poops. Not fun. Would love to live closer to a Tjs. Love my Aldi. Excellent on deals for fresh foods.

    1. I shop at Aldi too and I do like it but not as much at Trader Joes!

  5. We need to get back to the days when we grew our own food. If only…

  6. I too try to buy organic produce whenever possible. Yes, it is expensive, but I think it is also cheaper than paying thousands of $ for medications later.

  7. What is deliberately being done to our food is criminal. I grow as much as I can, but I only have so much space.

  8. Great informations, Judee. I am glad to know those clean 15 as my husband loves most of them. Even organic produce contains a certain amount of pesticides. Good that I don't or hardly eat any veggies and salads.

  9. Very informative, thank you Judee, scary stuff...

  10. We try to eat organic when possible. I do try to soak my produce in a vinegar water solution before eating to eliminate some of the pesticides if we can't find organic.

  11. I basically buy everything organic. I buy from Whole Foods and some organic produce from my local farmer's market. I do like buying organic mushrooms for Trader Joe's - they have a nice selection at a good price point. I do wash all my organic produce in a vinegar and baking soda solution that I make myself. I want to be sure everything is as clean as possible. I think it's highly important to eat organically. It may be more expensive, but it's worth it. You can't put a price on good health!

  12. Yes, this list is good to know. It's scary knowing that our fruits and veggies have pesticides. And I love some of the fruit here you mentioned, with peaches being a favorite in the summer. I do try to buy organic when I can. It's more expensive, but like you said, better all around. Thanks for sharing this post.



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