What are Dirty Dozens Fruits and Vegetables and Clean Fifteen?

Dr. Parvin Carter

Diet, exercise and how we emotionally handle the stresses of everyday life contribute greatly to how our body and mind age.


We all know the health benefits of fruits and veggies but did you know there are certain fruits and veggies that may be healthier than others?  I am talking about the levels of pesticide residues found in our produce.  Pesticide residues on some fruits and vegetables can exceed safe limits for children, according to a study.

One organization called the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual “Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce” that is a big help when it comes to buying fruits and veggies.  They test the safety of our produce in terms of the pesticide content and then rank them in order.  They also test the safety of our water and other consumer products (for more information, check out their website at ewg.org).  For produce, they have two lists called the dirty dozen (plus) and the clean fifteen.  The plus category is something they recently began adding that highlights two crops this year, summer squash and the leafy greens, kale and collards.  According to EWG, these crops didn’t meet the criteria to be included in the Dirty Dozen but were commonly contaminated with pesticides that are exceptionally toxic to the nervous system, meaning they can cause disruptions to your neurological system and your brain.  For your reference, below are both the dirty and the clean lists for 2013.

The Dirty Dozen (Plus):

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Hot peppers
  7. Nectarines – imported
  8. Peaches
  9. Potatoes

10. Spinach

11. Strawberries

12. Bell peppers

13. Kale/collard greens +

14. Summer Squash +

The Clean Fifteen:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Sweet corn
  6. Eggplant
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes

10. Mushrooms

11. Onions

12. Papayas

13. Pineapples

14. Sweet peas- frozen

15. Sweet Potatoes

So what should we do regarding the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetable? stop eating them ? Not at all,  just buy these from Certified Organic Growers, at Shasta County  Farmer’s Market, every Saturday at 777 Cypress Avenue (City Hall Parking Lot), this is where I purchase most of my vegetables and fruits.
Organic foods do not contain any pesticides and have higher levels of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Read more


In dentistry experience and Continuing Education are everything. Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in Practicing General Dentistry and 25 years in Orthodontics. She has thousands of hours of advanced training. In 2000, Academy of General Dentistry awarded Dr. Carter a Certificate of Mastership (MAGD) in General Dentistry. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement. Dr. Carter is a Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 340 patients with Invisalign

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