The Dirty Dozen: Foods You Should Always Buy Organic

The following “Dirty Dozen” food list have the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions – or to grow them organically yourself.

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • + Hot peppers
    2020 Updated list

What are pesticides?

Pesticides are chemicals used to control various pests and disease carriers, such as mosquitoes, ticks, rats, and mice. Pesticides are used in agriculture to control weeds, insect infestation, and diseases. There are many different types of pesticides; each is meant to be effective against specific pests.

Why should you care about pesticides?

Decades of sound research has shown that there’s a definite link between the use of pesticides and long-term, detrimental health impacts on humans.

  • They can increase your risk for, and even cause, certain types of cancers
  • They can lead to severe respiratory problems.
  • They might cause damage to your kidneys and even lead to kidney disease.
  • They can result in cognitive decline and lead to brain disorders.
  • They can cause severe birth defects.
  • They can have lasting, disrupting effects on your hormones.

What to do?

If you consume the food on the list of the dirty dozen, you should make sure to buy it organic, if it is not possible or difficult to get it organic, simply skip it or find other alternatives.

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