The Most Important Fruits and Veggies to Buy Organic

by in Uncategorized, April 22, 2011

fresh produce

Last year on Earth Day, we introduced the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Shoppers Guide to Pesticides – the list of most and least contaminated produce items to help you decide where to spend your organic food budget. The EWG continues to conduct research on contamination levels in popular fruits and veggies—here’s the latest update.

The Organic Hit List
This list was created to help shoppers make informed choices about the produce they buy. Organic produce gets pricey and this type of list can help shoppers decide where their money is best spent (buying organic fruits and veggies when they are in season helps too).

According to the EWG, consumers can lower their consumption of pesticides by four-fifths by avoiding the top 12 most contaminated items.

What’s New?
Celery has jumped from number 4 to number 1 on the “dirty dozen”. Peaches, the former pesticide champion, have slipped to number 2. Newcomers to the top 12 are blueberries at number 5, spinach at number 8 and potatoes make their debut at number 11.

As for the produce items with the least amounts of pesticide residues, (a.k.a. the “clean 15”), the top 10 have remained relatively unchanged while numbers 11 through 15 got shaken up. Papaya, broccoli and tomatoes have fallen out of the top 15, while cantaloupe, grapefruit and honeydew melon have joined the list.

Visit to see the full lists and download a printable pocket guide (I keep mine hanging on the fridge). You can even get an app for your iPhone!

TELL US: How do you pick what to buy organic?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (2,463)

  1. Jake says:

    Organic food always taste better so I try to buy it as much as possible! Not to mention who wants pesticides in they're fruit? Not me! Interesting that celery and peaches are considered the pesticide champions!

  2. DawnBreak says:

    Supporting local farmers and growers is so important.

    Not only do we have a small garden, but from April to November we buy local.
    We mainly eat whatever food is in season, plus freeze some extra.
    We are so fortunate to have many different farm stands within a few miles.
    Even in town, many people set out small tables with extra items from their garden,
    for small donation.

    Fresh, home grown, vine ripened is so delicious.
    Lucky for us that garden fresh is so high in nutritious vitamins, and low use of pesticides.
    Because …. we would eat this way for the taste alone.

    Already getting hungry for some early spring fresh peas and spinach.
    Then, berries next! Yum.

  3. I almost always buy local or organic. It may be more expensive, but it is better for the local economy and for my health. Most of my diet is plant-based – clean, flavorful fruits and veggies are a "must."

    All of these factors make choosing local/organic much less costly in the long-run!

  4. Sharon says:

    When I can't buy organic I wash all fruits and vegetables off in a solution of 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a gallon of water.

  5. Angie says:

    ALWAYS support your local farmers!!!
    More people should care and pay attention to the food they put into their bodies and also what they are feeding their children. The FDA doesn't care about what's "right". They care about money. Sad.

  6. Robin FL says:

    I always try to purchase organic whenever i can. My local large grocery store has more and more organic foods every month. My fruits and vegetables and dairy are most important to me and i do not eat red meat but i do eat chicken and turkey for now and i buy with no hormones and grass fed products too. Eat organic its healthier and tastes cleaner and better.

  7. Bonnie Tang says:

    I was wondering if it is recommended that we use Veggie Wash or some such product?

  8. Wow, marvelous blog format! How long have you ever been blogging for? you made running a blog look easy. The total look of your website is excellent, as smartly as the content! androids instagram

  9. […] it’s important to make sure we aren’t eating unhealthy chemicals.   Here’s a list of the “dirty dozen” which are the most important fruits and veggies to purchase organic, since they are […]

  10. fkawau says:

    This is the rectify The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Update | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog blog for anyone who wants to move out out roughly this substance. You observe so some its virtually exhausting to debate with you (not that I rattling would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new reel on a issue thats been printed nearly for eld. Respectable object, but outstanding!

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