Pesticide-Heavy Foods Topping the 2021 'Dirty Dozen' List & the Cleanest

The Doctors

The Doctors share the foods that contain the highest levels of pesticides and how you can reduce your pesticide intake.

The Environmental Working Group released their annual "Dirty Dozen" list of fruits and vegetables to avoid include:

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

It is important that babies and children avoid eating food with pesticides, according to health experts, and a 2020 study consumption of pesticides can be linked to a loss of IQ and possible intellectual disabilities.

The group also released their "Clean Fifteen" list, which are the safest when it comes to pesticides use. The 15 best foods to eat include:

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

Some ways to reduce the level of pesticides on your produce, according to CNN health experts:

- Wash before eating -  Using water can dramatically remove surface pesticides (*The US Food and Drug Administration recommends against the use of washing food with soap, detergent, commercial produce wash.)

- Buy organic when possible

- Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season and local

- Buy extra organic produce and then freeze to use later in the year

Find out more about the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" food lists, here!

More: How Can You Protect Yourself from Chemicals and Pesticides?

More: Does Buying Organic Really Remove All Exposure to Pesticides?

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Playing Drs. Rx: How to Wash Your Produce to Remove Pesticides

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