Which Fruits and Vegetables Should you buy Organic?

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Clean 13, Dirty dozenOrganic fruits and vegetables are believed to be healthier alternatives due to the absence of cancer causing pesticides.  However, not all fruits and vegetables purchased need to be organic. In many countries, they can be very expensive and cost prohibitive. This list will help you to become a smarter shopper.  Fruits and vegetables play an important role in eliminating toxins from your body. Eating organic produce, when appropriate, can one help further in their quest for health and wellness.

I recommend you familiarize yourself with this  “Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen”  list,  provided by  the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Knowing this list will save you a lot of money when shopping.

This non-profit group placed the following items on its “Dirty Dozen” list of produce. The items  have high levels of pesticide residue. When possible, these foods should have the “organic” label on them when purchased.


  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Celery
  7. Grapes
  8. Pears
  9. Cherries
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet bell peppers
  12. Potatoes

The group also identified the “Clean 15” foods, which contain the least pesticide residue. That means you can buy the non-organic form and not worry about too much about  pesticide exposure.  If you notice, most of the foods on this list have a tick outer covering which protect them.



  1. Sweet corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwifruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit
  16. Oranges (add on)


Baudry J, Assmann KE, Touvier M, et al. Association of Frequency of Organic Food Consumption With Cancer RiskFindings From the NutriNet-Santé Prospective Cohort StudyJAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(12):1597–1606. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4357

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list. Accessed December 9, 2017,  https://www.ewg.org/

Mie A, Andersen HR, Gunnarsson S, et al. Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review. Environmental Health. 2017;16:111. doi:10.1186/s12940-017-0315-4.

Organic food and the impact on human health Sara Hurtado-Barroso, Anna Tresserra-Rimbau, Anna Vallverdú-Queralt & Rosa María Lamuela-Raventós Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition Vol. 0 , Iss. 0,0

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