2019 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15


Kale top 'dirty dozen' list of tainted produce

Each year, the Environmental Working Group releases its "Dirty Dozen," a list of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides. The list this year is is no less depressing than last year's, but it's important nonetheless.

According to the EWG report:

"Overall, the USDA found 225 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on popular fruits and vegetables Americans eat every day. Before testing, all produce was washed and peeled, just as people would prepare food for themselves, which shows that simple washing does not remove all pesticides."

The EWG seemed most surprised by the toxins in kale. More than "92 percent of kale samples had two or more pesticide residues detected," and, according to the study, a single sample of the same kale could yield as many as 18 kinds of residue.

Here's 2019, Dirty Dozen:

2019 Dirty Dozen

Conversely, the organization releases a "Clean Fifteen," which is, as you might imagine, the 15 kinds of produce they found to have "few, if any" bacteria.

This year's Clean 15 list is...

2019 Clean 15


3 comments


  • Julie

    Hey Mary, for some reason this wasn’t listed in the article, but the dirty dozen are the ones that they recommend buying organic. There’s no way to clean off all that. The pesticide and other nasties are found only on the conventional (non-organic) foods on this list. The clean fifteen are the ones that it’s relatively safe to buy conventional and not have to spend the extra $$ on for organic. Hope this helps.


  • Mary

    Thank you for the information. What is the most effective way to clean those in the dirty dozen?


  • Mary

    Thank you for the information. What is the most effective way to clean those in the dirty dozen?


Leave a comment