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The 'Dirty Dozen' and the 'Clean 15'

Choose clean, healthy foods as part of your healthy eating habit.
Choose clean, healthy foods as part of your healthy eating habit.
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Every year the Environmental Working Group rates the cleanliness of many of the fruits and vegetables we eat. While it is true that eating non-organic fruits and vegetables are better than eliminating plants from your diet, it's still preferable that you choose cleaner, less contaminated foods as part of your healthy eating plan.

The list is broken up into two groups: the Clean 15, and the Dirty Dozen.

This past years list added two additional items to the Dirty Dozen because of the amounts of pesticides that are especially toxic to your nervous system.

The purpose of this list is to help you avoid the most contaminated foods, and steer toward cleaner food items. While it is preferable to choose organic where available, sticking to foods in the Clean 15 will still be a better option for healthy eating.

Clean 15

1. asparagus
2. avocados
3. cabbage
4. cantaloupe
5. sweet corn
6. eggplant
7. grapefruit
8. kiwi
9. mangoes
10. mushrooms
11. onions
12. papayas
13. pineapples
14. sweet peas (frozen)
15. sweet potatoes

Dirty Dozen

1. apples
2. celery
3. cherry tomatoes
4. cucumbers
5. grapes
6. hot peppers
7. nectarines (imported)
8. peaches
9. potatoes
10. strawberries
11. spinach
12. sweet peppers
13. kale + collards
14. zucchini

The purpose of this list is to help you avoid the most contaminated foods, and steer toward cleaner food items. While it is preferable to choose organic where available, sticking to foods in the Clean 15 will still be a better option for healthy eating.