The Dirty “Baker’s” Dozen


The Dirty Dozen are the most contaminated fruits and vegetables  and the ones you should buy organic if you can. These fruits and vegetables have more pesticide residues than other produce. I provided a list of the Dirty Dozen foods at the bottom of the page for an easy reference while you are shopping. I added blueberries to the list to make it a Baker’s Dozen.

I do use a fruit and vegetable spray called Fruit & Veggie Clean which “rinses clean and is proven to remove surface pesticides, waxes, and chemicals.” I still buy organic fruits and vegetables even with the spray because I worry about how many pesticides are absorbed into the fruit and cannot be rinsed clean.

EWG  has a great site on the Dirty Dozen foods and states why some of the fruits and vegetables are on the top 12 list. They believe blueberries/raspberries should be on the list instead of Cherries. I usually buy all berries organic since we eat so many of them. They are a favorite snack in our house.

The Dirty Dozen?

Of the 12 most contaminated foods, 6 are fruits: apples, strawberries, peaches, domestic nectarines, imported grapes and domestic blueberries. Notable findings:

  • Every sample of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, followed by apples (97.8 percent) and imported plums (97.2 percent).
  • 92 percent of apples contained 2 or more pesticide residues? followed by imported nectarines (90.8 percent) and peaches (85.6 percent).
  • Imported grapes had 14 pesticides detected on a single sample. Strawberries, domestic grapes both had 13 different pesticides detected on a single sample.
  • As a category. peaches have been treated with more pesticides than any other produce, registering combinations of up to 57 different chemicals. Apples were next, with 56 pesticides and raspberries with 51.

Celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, lettuce and greens (kale and collards) are the vegetables most likely to retain pesticide contamination:

  • Some 96 percent all celery samples tested positive for pesticides, followed by cilantro (92.9 percent) and potatoes (91.4 percent).
  • Nearly 90 percent of celery samples contained multiple pesticides, followed by cilantro (70.1 percent) and sweet bell peppers (69.4 percent).
  • A single celery sample was contaminated with 13 different chemicals, followed by a single sample of sweet bell peppers (11), and greens (10).
  • Hot peppers had been treated with as many as 97 pesticides, followed by cucumbers (68) and greens (66). provided the list below for the most contaminated foods. I hope this simplifies things for you. Remember to add blueberries to the list.

12 Most Contaminated

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes


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Recipe by Back To Organic at