The list ranks fruits and vegetables based on levels of pesticide contamination. A Plus category has been added that contains green beans, kale, and collard greens, which did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but are commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides.
Topping the list of pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables are apples, apples, celery, and sweet bell peppers. The Dirty Dozen list is accompanied by the Clean 15™ list, which ranks the 15 fruits and vegetables lowest in pesticide contamination.
Dirty Dozen Plus
If you would like help remembering which fruits and vegetables are in the Dirty Dozen but don't need to remember their rank, the following list may be helpful:
- Fruits (six)
Stone fruits: peaches, imported nectarines
Medium-size-seed fruit: apples
Tiny-seed fruits: blueberries; strawberries; grapes
- Vegetables (nine)
Leafy green vegetables: collard greens; kale; lettuce; spinach
Elongated green vegetables: celery; cucumbers; green beans
Nightshade vegetables: sweet bell peppers; potatoes
The 2012 Clean 15, organized without regard to rank but rather to help you memorize which fruits and vegetables are on the list, are as follows:
- Fruits (eight)
Melons: watermelon; domestic cantaloupe; honeydew melon
Tropical stone fruits: avocado; mangoes
Citrus fruit: grapefruit
Tropical tiny-seed fruits: pineapples; kiwi
- Vegetables (seven)
Underground vegetables: onions; sweet potatoes
Seed vegetables: sweet corn; sweet peas;
Vegetative vegetables: asparagus; eggplant; mushrooms
The latest lists contain the following changes from my previous blog posting of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15:
- Dirty Dozen: Cherries are replaced by lettuce, cucumbers, and green beans.
- Clean 15: Cabbage is replaced by mushrooms.