What Are the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen?

Updated: Jan 19


Why is eating organic so important you ask? The answer is because our food is loaded with pesticides! What you might not know is that these pesticides are not only killing the obvious bugs, but they are also killing the bugs inside our body, known as the microbiome. The microbiome has a massive impact on the way we eat, think, and feel. Have you ever wondered why you crave sugar or are depressed for no reason? They call the gut our second brain for a reason!


Today, we go over the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen and explain why certain fruits and vegetables should be bought organic, whenever possible.


What Is the Dirty Dozen?

The Dirty Dozen are twelve foods that should be eaten organic, whenever possible. The non-organic versions of these foods are sprayed with chemicals and pesticides, which could have a negative impact on your digestive health. Here is the list of the dirty dozen:

  • Strawberries

  • Spinach

  • Kale, collard and mustard greens

  • Nectarines

  • Apples

  • Grapes

  • Peaches

  • Cherries

  • Pears

  • Tomatoes

  • Celery

  • Peppers (bell peppers and spicy peppers)

What Is the Clean Fifteen?

The Clean Fifteen is a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the lowest concentration of pesticides in the United States even though they are grown with pesticides. Here are the clean fifteen food items:

  • Avocados

  • Sweet corn

  • Pineapple

  • Onions

  • Papaya

  • Sweet peas (frozen)

  • Eggplant

  • Asparagus

  • Cauliflower

  • Cantaloupe

  • Broccoli

  • Mushrooms

  • Cabbage

  • Honeydew melon

  • Kiwi

While we do not condone eating non-organic, the clean fifteen are the ones that, when in a pinch, you can eat non-organic. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible as they are a critical part of a healthy diet. Ideally, you would like to purchase the dirty dozen organically; however, if you do not have access to organic produce all the time, non-organic is better than no produce at all.


The more we support organic farming with our dollar, the more profitable organic farming will become, and the more farmers will want to go organic. Count your vote with your dollar and choose organic.


Do you have questions about your nutrition? Contact us online today or by calling 619-356-1225 to schedule a session with us.


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