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There are some foods that are more heavily sprayed therefore are classed in the category of The Dirty Dozen. These are often foods that have no skin to them which can be a protective layer to some degree. The pesticide residue is measured by weight.

The Dirty Dozen

(in order of contamination)

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Blueberries
  • Potatoes

(Kale is creeping up on this list with increased spraying)

The Clean 15

(in order of least contamination)

  • Onions
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Mushrooms

It’s good to ensure you eat organic or homegrown for the dirty dozen to minimise your exposure to these pesticides, herbicides and chemicals. If you do then you are also guaranteed to know you are not eating anything genetically modified, but that is a subject for another time.