“Dirty Dozen”: Strawberries Top Annual Pesticide Report

March 22, 2024

… for items on the Dirty Dozen, a whopping 95 percent of samples contain pesticides.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Science Team in the advocacy organization’s annual report on “Pesticides in Produce,” in which the EWG lists different fruits and vegetables on its “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists.

Why It Matters: This year, strawberries, spinach, kale, collard, and mustard greens top the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list, which includes “the 12 non-organic, or conventional, fresh produce with the most pesticides.” The list is based on an EWG analysis of data from tests on produce performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Pesticides (used to prevent pests, etc.) have been connected to multiple negative health impacts, including having the potential to disrupt hormone systems.

EWG senior toxicologist Alexis Temkin says, “We want to enable consumers who wish to avoid as many pesticides as possible by opting for organic versions of the ‘Dirty Dozen,’ where pesticide levels will be lower, and then, if they wish, choose less expensive conventionally grown produce from the ‘Clean Fifteen.'” Items topping the “Clean Fifteen” include avocados, sweet corn and pineapple.

Important To Note: The EWG science team emphasizes, “Everyone should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whether organic or conventionally grown. The health benefits of such a diet outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.”

Something To Consider: “Although this consumer advocacy group believes it’s helping consumers make better choices, the reality is it isn’t. With 90 percent of Americans not meeting their recommended amounts of vegetables and 85 percent of Americans not meeting fruit recommendations, the benefits of eating produce, whether it’s conventional, organic, ugly or local are plentiful.” Just Eat the Non-Organic Strawberries – Here’s Why You Should Disregard the ‘Dirty Dozen’

The 2024 Dirty Dozen

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

The 2024 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. Watermelon
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Mangoes
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Carrots

Read More: EWG’s 2024 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce (Environmental Working Group)

Just Eat the Non-Organic Strawberries – Here’s Why You Should Disregard the ‘Dirty Dozen’

Blueberries, strawberries again on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list (CNN)

The 2024 Dirty Dozen ~ The 2024 Clean Fifteen (EGW)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas