• Laura Warren

The Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen


Eating 100% organic is ideal but isn’t always financially possible. Being aware of which foods are the most sprayed with herbicides and pesticides and those which aren’t, is a really good way of keep costs down. You can also reduce the cost or organic food by growing your own produce or joining a local co-op.

Consuming foods from the Clean 15 will lower your pesticide exposure significantly when compared with the Dirty dozen. Choosing fruits and vegetables from the Clean 15 list means you’ll consume fewer than two pesticides per day, whereas consuming fruits and vegetables from the Dirty Dozen will cause you to ingest as many as 14 different pesticides every day.

These herbicides and pesticides are known disruptor's to our endocrine system and cause a heavy load of the liver. The function of pesticides is to poison things. So common sense would tell us that food that’s grown with the use of pesticides and herbicides will give this potential risk to the consumer.

Below is the list of most and least sprayed foods here in New Zealand.


The Dirty Dozen (advised to buy organic only) 1. Apples 2. Celery 3. Strawberries 4. Peaches 5. Spinach 6. Nectarines 7. Grapes 8. Sweet bell peppers 9. Potatoes 10. Blueberries 11. Lettuce 12. Kale

A good rule of thumb is: If you eat the skin make sure it is organic or spray-free!

The Clean 15 (lowest in toxic pesticides and herbicides) 1. Onions 2. Sweet corn 3. Pineapples 4. Avocado 5. Asparagus 6. Papaya 7. Mangoes 8. Eggplant 9. Cantaloupe 10. Kiwifruit 11. Cabbage 12. Watermelon 13. Sweet potatoes 14. Grapefruit 15. Mushrooms Quick tip: To reduce pesticide/herbicide reside on vegetables or fruit cover with filtered water and ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and soak for 10mins. Drain and then dry