The Environmental Working Group this week released its annual Dirty Dozen list of produce with the highest levels of pesticide residues.

The report highlights the cleanest and dirtiest conventionally grown fruits and vegetables and recommends going for the organic version of foods in the Dirty Dozen.

The Environmental Working Group analyzed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with the rankings.

Here are the Dirty Dozen, beginning with the food with the highest amount of pesticide residues:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Imported nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Imported snap peas
  12. Potatoes

And a couple more on the dirty list: hot peppers and kale/collard greens.

The Environmental Working Group also ranks conventional foods with the least amount of pesticide residue.

Here are the Clean Fifteen:

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

If you want to see the rankings of all 48 foods evaluated, visit the Environmental Working Group website.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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