Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen…do you know about this list?

Clean 15 and the Dirty DozenClean 15 and the Dirty Dozen

Have you ever heard of the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen?? You’ve decided to eat a cleaner, healthier diet; that’s a great step!  But, how do you know where to start?  How do you keep the cost of food under control and still eat a healthy diet? How do you know what needs to be organic and what can be conventionally grown?

These are all questions I faced when I decided to change how I was eating, and I know I’m not alone.  I hear from people all the time… how they would love to eat more organic food, but it’s so much more expensive!  It doesn’t cost that much more if you know what needs to be organic and what can safely be conventional food choices.

I remember standing in the Trader Joe’s in Nashua, NH nearly four years ago and looking at the fruits and vegetables not really knowing what to buy.

I was lucky that day as a very nice woman overheard my husband Rob and me trying to decide which food we should buy that was organic.  She asked us if we had ever heard of “The Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen”.  We had no idea what she was talking about!  Then she took a list from her purse that was the Environmental Working Group’s list of the cleanest 15 fruits and vegetables and the 12 dirtiest (most heavily treated with pesticides).

This was back in 2012.   At the time, I had never heard of the list or of the Environmental Working Group. I took a picture of her list with my phone while she explained that these two lists give guidance for people trying to eat a “cleaner diet”.  For those of us who want to eat well yet still watch our food budgets, the list gives great guidance as to which conventional fruits and vegetables you can buy and which you absolutely should buy that are organically grown!

The Environmental Working Group ( updates the list every year, and every year there are changes.  EWG does great work and have other really important guidance and health information on personal care products, household cleaning products, etc.  I encourage you to visit their website and take a closer look at all their wonderful information at

Here’s the list so you can print it out and keep it with you, too!

Clean Fifteen – 2016:           

  1. Avocados
  2. Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwis
  11. Eggplant
  12. Honeydew
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Cantaloupe
  15. Cauliflower

Dirty Dozen – 2016:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3.  Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8.  Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Bell peppers
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

On the Clean Fifteen, the list runs from the safest conventional food (avocados) down to the last on the list, cauliflower, which you can still buy as a conventionally grown vegetable.

On the Dirty Dozen list, number one is strawberries which are very heavily sprayed with pesticides; you should always look for and buy organic strawberries.  In fact, all the fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list…really…it’s in your best interest to buy all these fruits and veggies organically grown.

This will help you get started on the road to cleaner, healthier eating which will help you eat to be well!

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!

Cheryl A Major, CNWC                                                                                                                           Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant

Cheryl A Major, CNWC



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