The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15

The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15, two lists that help you prioritise your food choices for a healthier lifestyle and decide when to choose Organic or not.
Prioritise your health and lead a healthier lifestyle with the help of Optimal Health



The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15

If you are health-conscious, then you need to pay close attention to the quality of the food you consume. One important aspect of food quality is the presence of pesticides. Pesticide Awareness help you prioritise your food choices. Enter the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15, two lists that help you prioritise your food choices for a healthier lifestyle and decide when to choose Organic or not.

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen is a list compiled annually by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. This list highlights the twelve fruits and vegetables that tend to have the highest levels of pesticide residue when conventionally grown. The most recent EWG report, based on extensive testing, identified the following as the 2021 Dirty Dozen:













While these fruits and vegetables are undeniably nutritious, the Dirty Dozen list reminds us to be aware of potential pesticide exposure. Most definitely wash them and consider choosing organic options for these items. Pesticides are used in conventional farming to combat pests and ensure crop yield, but their residues can end up on our plates, with inherent health risks.

The Clean 15

On the other hand, the Clean 15 is a list that highlights the produce with the lowest levels of pesticide residue when grown conventionally. These items are deemed safer to consume in their non-organic form. Here are the 2021 Clean 15, according to the EWG:






Peas (frozen)

Aubergine/ Eggplant







Honeydew melon

Cantaloupe melon

The Clean 15 offers a range of options that can be purchased conventionally, as they are less likely to contain high levels of pesticide residues. However, it’s important to note that these items still undergo testing, and some pesticide residues may still be present. Therefore, washing all produce thoroughly before consumption remains a recommended practice.

Tips for a balanced and healthy approach

Be mindful of your budget: Organic produce is often more expensive than conventionally grown options. If you’re on a budget, consider prioritising organic purchases for the Dirty Dozen and opt for conventionally grown options from the Clean 15.

Practice proper washing techniques: Regardless of whether produce is organic or conventionally grown, it’s essential to wash it thoroughly before consumption to remove any surface contaminants.

Diversify your choices: Instead of solely relying on the Clean 15, aim to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. This approach ensures you benefit from a wide range of nutrients while minimising exposure to any potential contaminants.

In Conclusion:

The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists serve as valuable resources for consumers looking to navigate the world of pesticide exposure in their food choices. By being aware of these lists, you can make informed decisions and strike a balance between consuming pesticide-free options and maintaining a diverse and nutritious diet.


How Optimal Health Can Help

If you would like support around your personal Optimal Nutrition then we recommend starting with an Initial Health Consultation for new patients. We connect via Zoom, listen clearly to your health concerns and priorities, ensure our philosophy meets your needs, and recommend the starting point for an Optimal Health Treatment Pathway ©



The Healing Power of Laughter

Most people know the expression ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ and this is being proven by both medical and scientific faculties around the world on an ongoing basis.

Read More »