2017 Dirty Dozen – Is Your Produce Loaded with Pesticides?

by Heather Ferber on March 11, 2017

The 2017Dirty Dozen List


Every year, EWG (the Environmental Working Group) does a fantastic job of testing fresh fruits and vegetables for pesticide residue. Their 2017 report was recently released and it revealed that nearly 70% of non organic fruits/vegetables had evidence of at least one pesticide residue.  Often times, there was evidence of many pesticides!

And my beloved conventional greens, spinach specifically, turned out to contain alarming amounts of DDT, a neurotoxic insecticide that is actually banned in the United States. Yikes!

There’s a new #1 this year on the Dirty Dozen list – strawberries.  Spinach and apples remain in the top 5.

The Clean 15 offers hope that not everything is laden with pesticides.  The conventional (non-organic) fruits and vegetables that were tested in this grouping showed the least amount of contamination.

Here are the results for 2017

EWG’s Dirty Dozen

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomato
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potaotes

EWG’s Clean Fifteen

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

Some sweet corn, pineapple and papaya sold in the United States may be genetically modified.  I personally ask if it’s non GMO or opt to purchase organic which, by definition, implies it cannot be genetically modified.

My family uses the EWG’s list to help manage our grocery budget.  We consume a ton of strawberries, spinach and greens in our home and I’ve been buying those organic whenever possible for a few years already.  On the other hand, I rarely buy cauliflower, asparagus or onions organic as those have been on the Clean 15 list for a few years now.

And if you can’t buy organic, don’t stress!  Don’t let this list deter you from eating fresh produce! It’s still better to wash these fruits and veggies really well and eat them as often as possible as opposed to grabbing a dinner of processed junk.

If you want to learn more about EWG and other products they test (like sunscreens and makeup), head to their website at www.ewg.org



Heather Ferber is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, AADP who helps busy moms get fresh, focused and energized. She is a detox specialist helping to rebuild gut health, balance hormones and thrive. She enjoys empowering moms to take back their health and feed their families better with simple, everyday advice and suggestions that can be easily integrated into today’s modern family’s hectic lives. You can find her on Fox 6 Real MKE once a month, speaking and teaching classes in the community, cooking in her kitchen for family and friends, playing her piano to relax, or out running with the family dog.

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