The Clean Fifteen & The Dirty Dozen 2013

clean-dirtyThough buying organic fruits and vegetables is always important for better health and sustaining the environment, it is not always practical due to access or cost. The good news is that not all fruits and vegetables have the same toxin load of pesticides and herbicides when grown conventionally. When buying organic is not an option, focus on the following fruits and vegetables, known as the Clean Fifteen, as they are the safest when grown conventionally:


Clean Fifteen:

  • onions
  • avocados
  • corn
  • pineapples
  • mango
  • sweet peas
  • asparagus
  • kiwi
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • cantaloupe
  • papaya
  • grapefruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • mushrooms


Conversely, do your best to buy the following fruits and vegetables organic, as they have the highest toxin load of pesticides and herbicides when grown conventionally:


The Dirty Dozen – Plus:

  • celery
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • spinach
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • potatoes
  • grapes
  • hot peppers
  • Plus: collards/kale & squash/zucchini


Source: EWG (Environmental Working Group) 2013

Dr. Wiseman’s Advice:

A good rule of thumb that I use to remember these lists is that if it has a peel or covering that is not eaten then it is generally safe. For example, a non-organic banana is relatively safe because the peel provides a certain amount of protection and you don’t consume the peel. On the other hand grapes have no protection and we eat the whole thing – peel and all; thus we should probably try to buy these organic when possible. The “Peel Rule” will help you remember these lists as you shop. Hope this helps. Good luck 😉