The Environmental Working Group has released the 2018 version of its yearly list of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables that contained the highest level of pesticide residue.

The fruits and veggies on the “dirty dozen” list are those found to be the most commonly contaminated with pesticides.


According to the National Pesticide Information Center, the risk of harm from the use of pesticides depends on the toxicity of the specific pesticide used, and the amount and way in which you are exposed to that pesticide.

The EPA has said that pesticides can be harmful to human health, and even pesticide residue left on produce can have an effect.

The “dirty dozen” guide is based on USDA tests on organic produce, measuring contamination of common pesticides.

Strawberries topped this year’s list once again, with a single sample of strawberries showing 22 pesticides. A third of all the conventional strawberry samples contained residue from 10 or more pesticides.


According to the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, over 98% of strawberries, spinach, peaches, apples, cherries, and nectarines were found to have residue from at least one kind of pesticide.

Here’s the list of the “dirty dozen” for 2018.



1. Strawberries

2. Spinach


3. Nectarines

4. Apples

5. Grapes

6. Peaches

7. Cherries

8. Pears


9. Tomatoes

10. Celery

11. Potatoes

12. Sweet Bell Peppers

This list also mentions hot peppers as a thirteenth produce item to buy organic.

If you’re looking for some uses for organic strawberries, why not try these Raw Strawberry Tartlets, this High-Protein Strawberry Cheesecake, or this Sweet Strawberry Flatbread? Avoiding pesticides can actually be pretty delicious.

Have some organic spinach? Try this delicious Spinach and Bean Chipotle Casserole, this unique Spinach Dip Crescent Roll Ring, or these meaty Spinach Meatballs in Spicy Sauce.

Nectarines are also tasty and great to buy organic. Try using them in this Sweet Nectarine and Almond Bread or these tasty Whole Wheat Nectarine Pancakes for breakfast.

Looking for more plant-based food info? Download the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

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