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The Dirty Dozen vs The Clean Fifteen

From the title is may seem that this is about the latest Marvel movie where the evil supra- and pseudo-humans face off against the likes of Spiderman, Ironman, and Captain America. However, as you read on, you will see the parallels to this concept of good versus evil.

Though first, let’s get to the EWG. The EWG stands for “The Environmental Working Group.” This is a non-profit organization that was formed in 2002 and its mission is to “empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.”

The EWG has many roles; they conduct research on products we use and consume every day, they report important research, and track governmental policies that impact your health. Of all the areas of research, the EWG may be best known for two publications: “The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen.” “The Dirty Dozen” lists the 12 most pesticide laden commonly consumed fruits and vegetables in the US, whereas “The Clean Fifteen” lists the cleanest conventional items.

Even though the amount and availability of organic produce is on the rise, so is the price. Organically produced items can cost 30 to 50 percent more than their conventional counterparts. For example, organic strawberries can cost about $5.00 per pint whereas conventionally grown can be as low as $3.00 per pint. So, is it worth paying the extra price for organic strawberries? In this case, yes, it is. The EWG names strawberries as the most pesticide laden produce item in the United States.1

In contrast, conventionally produced avocados, were found to have the lowest pesticide levels (The Clean Fifteen). This means you can safely save 50 percent by buying conventional avocados rather than the organic ones.

Back to the concept of good vs. evil, in the table below I have included the complete list of both the conventional superheroes (“The Clean Fifteen) and the evil villains (The Dirty Dozen”). As a non-profit organization, the Environmental Working Group depends on donations from concerned citizens like you to continue its important work of research and reporting on topics that impact your health. Check out their many consumer guides and consider donating.

The 2018 Clean 15

Ranked in order of the cleanest first

1. Avocados

2. Sweet Corn

3. Pineapples

4. Cabbages

5. Onions

6. Sweet Peas

7. Papayas

8. Asparagus

9. Mangoes

10. Eggplants

11. Honey Dew

12. Kiwi

13. Cantaloupe

14. Cauliflower

15. Broccoli

The 2018 Dirty Dozen

Ranked in order of most pesticide laden first

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Nectarines

4. Apples

5. Grapes

6. Peaches

7. Cherries

8. Pears

9. Tomatoes

10. Celery

11. Potatoes

12. Sweet Bell Peppers

The board certified Integrative and Functional Nutritionists at Food Centered Solutions are specially trained to provide you with a personalized dietary and nutrient plan to help you address all factors, including toxic chemical exposures, that could be influencing your health and preventing you from reaching your goals. Our focus is to help you achieve long-lasting results.

Call us today for your free 15-minute consultation.

Food Centered Solutions, LLC

Frances Siver, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT, IFNCP Board Certified in Integrative and Functional Nutrition

W:, e:, C: 904-562-0082


  1. Environmental Working Group, EWG. Know your health and protect your environment. EGG. Accessed September 28th, 2018.

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