The EWG (Environmental Working Group) releases the ir “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists every year. According to EWG, the goal of the annual list is to “educate the public about fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest pesticide residues so consumers can make the best decisions for their families.”

If you see your favorites on the 2022 Dirty Dozen, don’t panic just buy organic. The same goes for not finding your favorite on the Clean Fifteen. Bottom line, my recommendation is to buy locally grown, organic, in season produce and always rinse your produce before cooking or eating it raw.

Some may ask if it is it important to not have foods treated with pesticides. Well, the short answer is, yes. Scientific studies of the potential health effects of hazardous chemicals, such as pesticides, allow them to be classified as carcinogenic (can cause cancer), neurotoxic (can cause damage to the brain), or teratogenic (can cause damage to a fetus). Organic produce is grown on soil that had no synthetic fertilizers and pesticides applied for three years prior to harvest.

This year’s Dirty Dozen (those with the most pesticides found) are:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale, Collard, and Mustard Greens
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bell and Hot Peppers
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes

This year’s Clean Fifteen (those with the least pesticides found) are:

  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Asparagus
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mangos
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Potatoes