Clean Fifteen Vs Dirty Dozen


Understanding which fruit and vegetables contain the highest and lowest levels of pesticides

We constantly hear that we should be feeding our children a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, however the risk of consuming too many pesticides is often reported, so how can we navigate this parenting puzzle? Nutritionists recommend that we buy and eat organic where possible.  Organic fruit and vegetables are more expensive, therefore it makes sense to switch to organic for the foods that tend to contain higher amounts of pesticides.


To help understand the clean fifteen and dirty dozen of the fruit and vegetable world, Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases an annual list of the conventionally grown fruits and veggies that contain the most pesticides in the US, and the UK have adopted these guidelines over the last few years.


(Note, the levels were recorded after the fruit had been washed and prepared ready to eat.)

In 2017, the ones that contained the most pesticides were:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet bell peppers
  12. Potatoes

EWG’s Clean Fifteen that are least likely to contain pesticide residues:

  1. Sweet corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew Melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit


Now that you know which fruit and vegetables to choose, all you need to do it get your children to eat them!  If you have a fussy eater, check out our tips on How To Get Kids To Eat a Rainbow.

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