By now, you’ve probably heard about Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen produce list. The list ranks fruits and vegetables by the amount of pesticide residue found on them, and the 12 most residue laden ones have been named the “Dirty Dozen.” By purchasing these fruits and vegetables in their organic form, EWG says, consumers can drastically reduce their exposure to harmful pesticides.

The list has been updated for 2010, and Yahoo! Green has the new Dirty Dozen list. EWG’s website says the entire list, from the Dirty Dozen at the top to the Clean Fifteen at the bottom will be updated soon.

Celery, moved up from number four to claim the dirtiest title, bumping peaches down to number two. Sixty-four difficult to wash-off chemicals were found in celery. Bumped completely out of the top 12 were carrots and pears, and potatoes and blueberries moved into the Dirty Dozen.

Here’s the entire new Dirty Dozen along with the number of chemicals found in each when grown conventionally.

  1. Celery - 64
  2. Peaches - 62
  3. Strawberries - 59
  4. Apples - 42
  5. Blueberries - 52
  6. Nectarines - 33
  7. Bell Peppers - 49
  8. Spinach - 48
  9. Kale - unreported
  10. Cherries - 42
  11. Potatoes - 37
  12. Grapes – 34
Aside from buying organic, is there any other way you can still enjoy these fruits and vegetables? Sure. You can grow your own or you can buy from local producers that you know minimize the amounts of pesticides used when they grow their produce. That takes asking questions at farm markets, roadside stands and farmers markets.


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Celery is the new dirtiest vegetable
Celery bumps peaches out of the top spot in the Environmental Working Group’s updated Dirty Dozen list.