The “dirty dozen” fruits and veggies of 2024

In the effort to boost your body's ability to fight disease, avoiding unnecessary exposure to toxins like pesticides is just as important as the food you eat. And as always, it all comes down to your choices.


"Conventional" produce is exposed to pesticides (e.g., herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides) that cannot always be completely washed away. By contrast, "organic" produce is not exposed to these chemicals. To put it another way…


Conventional = Organic + Pesticides


You wouldn’t choose to add a dash of pesticides to food you are about to eat, would you? Well unfortunately, this is effectively what you’re getting with at least a subset of "conventional" produce. 


But that doesn’t mean you have to eat 100-percent organic, 100-percent of the time. And especially if cost and availability present a struggle for you, it’s important to know when you can afford to be flexible… and when you can’t.   


That’s where the Environmental Working Group comes in. This organization, dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, issues a pesticide avoidance guide every year. Their annual lists identify which items you should only buy organic, and which items you can safely buy as conventional.


This year’s guide analyzed data from more than 47,500 samples of 46 different fruits and vegetables. And here is what they found…


The “dirty dozen” of 2024

  1.  Strawberries
  2.  Spinach
  3.  Kale
  4.  Grapes
  5.  Peaches
  6.  Pears
  7.  Nectarines
  8.  Apples
  9.  Bell and hot peppers
  10.  Cherries
  11.  Blueberries
  12.  Green beans


The “Clean Fifteen” of 2024

  1. Avocado
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onion
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Watermelon
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Mangoes
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Carrots


Bear in mind that these are only the latest lists. Items will vary from year to year—but you’ll see a lot of the usual suspects making repeat appearances at various slots. Still, it’s important to check back every year for the latest versions.



Of course, pesticides aren’t the only consideration in the effort to eat “clean.” Fresh, enzyme-rich, local foods are also better for your body than processed and packaged forms, for a variety of reasons. We’ll talk more about this critical difference next week, so as always, stay tuned…



Until next time,


The XY Wellness Team