The “Dirty Dozen and Clean 15” lists have been around for a number of years, and enhanced to include GMOs. I try to buy organic foods as much as possible due to the growing use of unhealthy pesticides and GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).  It’s not always possible to go 100% organic due to availability and cost. The “Dirty Dozen and Clean 15” is a list of fruits and vegetables that are either best to avoid unless they are organic or OK to buy conventional.

Be aware that even if a food is labeled organic this does not guarantee that it’s not GMO product. There are other postings that outline the dangers of GMOs and I’ll only briefly discuss here. The two main two foods that should only be purchased organic and preferably labeled non-GMO are corn and soy products. Most of the corn and soy grown in the USA today are Genetically Modified with the pesticide grown within the plant.

Since I live in California, the state that produces nearly half of the US-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables it’s much easier and affordable to purchase organic foods. But no matter where you live, unless it’s on a farm with temperate temperatures year around it’s impossible to purchase 100% organic.

The Dirty Dozen Plus is the list of  12+ most contaminated fruits and vegetables that should be purchased organic whenever possible and the clean 15 is the of foods that are OK to buy when choosing conventionally grown produce.

This handy-dandy resource is from EWG’s Shopper Guide ( is a super helpful guide for anyone trying to decide what and when to buy organic and when to let it conventional is OK.

The Dirty Dozen Plus – these are the 12+  most contaminated fruits and veggies and are best to buy organic (whenever you can).

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Blueberries
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Summer Squash
  • Green Beans*
  • Kale*

The Clean 15 – these are the fruits and veggies with the least contamination and a better bet when choosing conventionally grown produce.

  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Papayas
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Mushrooms