Updated: Feb 19, 2019

Unfortunately, so much of the fresh produce we eat is subjected to toxic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertiliser. With chemical residues implicated in many health issues including ADHD, fertility issues, thyroid issues and certain cancers, it’s definitely something to be concerned about.

It would be ideal to buy everything organic, but with the price tag attached to organic produce, it’s not always possible. Enter the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15! This is a list that outlines the 12 fruits and vegetables containing the most pesticide residue and those containing the least. If you can afford to, the Dirty Dozen represents a group of produce that would be worth buying organic if you can.

If you’re buying imported produce, the country of origin may have a slightly different pesticide regime to Australia, however studies into Australian spraying shows considerable overlap.

Whilst washing your produce won’t get rid of all traces of pesticide residue, we should at the very least, wash all of our fresh produce before eating. If organic produce doesn’t fit into your budget, try washing your regular produce in a large bowl filled with four parts water to one part plain white or apple cider vinegar. Rinse well afterwards.

The good news is that armed with this knowledge, we can be more informed when we are grocery shopping, and make healthier choices for ourselves and our families.

Here is the current list: