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Updated: May 22

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed their updated list of the non-organic fruits and vegetables most heavily contaminated with pesticides, known as the Dirty Dozen.

EWG uses testing data from the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration from 46 different kinds of fruits and vegetables to determine the most pesticide-tainted produce, even when washed and peeled. Blueberries and green beans are the newcomers to the list and the order reflects the level of contamination, with the first being the worst. The 2023 Dirty Dozen list in order of contamination is:

  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Kale, collard & mustard greens

  4. Peaches

  5. Pears

  6. Nectarines

  7. Apples

  8. Grapes

  9. Bell & hot peppers

10. Cherries

11. Blueberries

12. Green Beans


You can check out EWG’s 2023 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce to also view the fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticide contamination known as the Clean Fifteen. By using these lists as a guide, consumers may decide to purchase the Dirty Dozen items certified organic and the Clean Fifteen in non-organic form to save money.

However, even the conventionally grown, Clean Fifteen could still contain pesticide residuals so many prefer to buy everything certified organic and have the peace of mind that comes with purchasing the cleanest produce available.

Either way, EWG’s lists guide consumers to make informed choices about their produce purchases. At Pilgrim’s Market, you do not have to worry about the Dirty Dozen or the contamination level of fruits and vegetables in our Produce Department. Pilgrim’s offers certified organic or wild-harvested produce to keep it farmer’s market fresh for our customers.



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