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The Dirty Dozen: Here Are The Fruits & Veggies Found To Score Highest In Pesticides

The Dirty Dozen is an annual list released by the Environmental Working Group that names the fruits and vegetables found to have the most pesticide residue, based on samples taken by the USDA and the USFDA.

The list is meant as a guide for those looking to lower their exposure to pesticides, however, is not meant to dramatically change the way you shop, according to the International Food Information Council. Instead, consumers who are concerned about their pesticide exposure should use this list to help make different choices when shopping, like buying frozen or organic versions of the Dirty Dozen, or opting for food listed on the Clean 15, which includes Avocados, Sweet Peas, Asparagus, and Broccoli, among others.

The major changes to this year’s list include the addition of Collard Greens and Mustard Greens to the rank of #3 (joining Kale) and the addition of Hot Peppers and Bell Peppers at #10.

The full list for 2021, according to the Environmental Working Group, is:


  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Kale, Collard Greens, and Mustard Greens

  4. Nectarines

  5. Apples

  6. Grapes

  7. Cherries

  8. Peaches

  9. Pears

  10. Bell Peppers and Hot Peppers

  11. Tomatoes

  12. Celery


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