Organic on a budget – The Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

Let’s face it, most of us don’t have an unlimited food budget, and Organic foods tend to be more expensive.  So, it pays to know which ones really make a difference.

Every year, the Environmental Working Group ranks fruits and vegetables according to pesticide content (retained in the food itself, not necessarily how much is actually used in production).

Since it’s a long list, they highlight “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean Fifteen.”

Of course, there are factors other than budget to consider, including how far away it was grown, growing season, availability, supporting small farmers, and so on.

You may decide it’s worth buying an Organic peach that was grown 2,000 miles away (rather than a local peach that’s not organic), but you may choose to buy a conventionally-grown-but-local avocado rather than an Organic one that traveled across the country to get to you.

Updated for 2023

The Dirty Dozen

Buy these Organic whenever possible.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard and mustard greens
  4. Peaches
  5. Pears
  6. Nectarines
  7. Apples
  8. Grapes
  9. Bell and hot peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Blueberries
  12. Green beans

The Clean Fifteen

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Mangoes
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Watermelon
  15. Carrots

EWG’s full list and methodology

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

You May Also Like:

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments