Did you know that not all fruits and vegetables are created equal?  The list of the Dirty 12 and the Clean 15 show you which fruits and veggies should be bought organically, and which you can buy conventionally.  

I know that buying organic produce is not in everyone’s budget, but I think if you can buy organic on the Dirty 12 list, you are doing yourself a favor.

If you are in meal planning, consider thinking about buying the fruits and vegetables below organic.

What does the Dirty 12 list of fruits and vegetables mean?

Pesticides are on almost all conventional fruits and vegetables – they are what help the veggies and fruits grow without all the bugs getting on them and killing them.  

But the Dirty 12 list shows you the 12 fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticide residue left over on them.  That’s why it’s so important to buy these fruits and veggies organic instead of regularly.

We are in the process buying all of these dirty 12 fruits and veggies organic because I just learned about this.  I can’t believe this list (it has been updated for the 2016 EWG’s Shoppers Guide).

The Produce Dirty Dozen List - Dash of Herbs

The Dirty 12:

  1. apples
  2. strawberries
  3. grapes
  4. celery
  5. peaches
  6. spinach
  7. bell peppers
  8. nectarines
  9. cherry tomatoes
  10. cucumbers
  11. cherries
  12. tomatoes

+ hot peppers

+ kale/collard greens

What does the Clean 15 list of fruits and veggies mean?

These are 15 fruits and veggies that you can buy conventionally and don’t need to be purchased as organic produce.  They don’t have as many pesticides on them and are considered your “clean” fruits and veggies.

The Produce Clean 15 List - Dash of Herbs

The Clean 15:

  1. avocados
  2. pineapple
  3. cabbage
  4. sweet peas – frozen
  5. onions
  6. asparagus
  7. mangoes
  8. papaya
  9. kiwi
  10. eggplant
  11. grapefruit
  12. sweet corn
  13. honeydew
  14. cantaloupe
  15. cauliflower

+ sweet potatoes

+ mushrooms

Am I trying to require you to buy organic produce?  No, obviously not.  I want you to be aware of this list of the Dirty 12 and the Clean 15 so that you can make an informed decision yourself.  

I feel like being informed is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.  Please take this information to heart and remember to buy organic produce that is on the Dirty 12 list!


  1. I forgot about it too. It’s crazy how many things you need to know about food. I really do think this is an important thing to start doing if you can afford it. Even for just the foods you eat most – I think it’s so important.

  2. Whoa! I remember hearing about this years ago but I guess I forgot about it. Thank you so much for the reminder and sharing, I’ll be saving this!

  3. I know! I forget about the dirty 12 list too all the time, but now I want to pay much more attention to what I am putting into my body. I really do think that it matters – and yes, it’s so expensive. I wish it wasn’t, but I can see why it has to be more expensive.

  4. I dislike that we even have to talk about this! I always forget about what’s “dirty” and “clean” when I’m at the store, so I have a basic rule for myself. If the fruit/veggie is eaten without being peeled (think berries, carrots, apples etc) I buy organic. If it’s peeled (onions, bananas, potatoes etc) I buy normally. I wish that buying organic wasn’t so expensive!

  5. You are welcome, Rachael. I didn’t realize that it existed until recently either. I need to start working on buying more organic produce, so this list is great for that.

  6. Oh, I have never even heard of this! Thanks for sharing, girl!

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