Which Fruits & Veggies Are the Most Important to Buy Organic?

By on July 23, 2013

It’s true—organic produce can cost a bit more than conventional. So where should you put your organic consumer dollars? Use those shopping dollars to avoid the conventional fruits and vegetables that have shocking levels of pesticides.

Meet the Dirty Dozen Plus™; the fruits and veggies MOST laden with pesticides by conventional growers. If at all possible, buy these organically grown. Thanks to the Environmental Working Group for creating the Dirty Dozen Plus™, based on their annual testing of pesticide levels in fruits and vegetables.



Cherry tomatoes



Hot peppers






Sweet bell peppers

The Environmental Working Group added two “Plus” members of the group, shown below, explaining that “[t]hese crops did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen™ criteria but were commonly contaminated with pesticides exceptionally toxic to the nervous system.”

Kale and collard greens

Summer squash

Tricia talks to Chris from Chaffin Family Orchard

Shop an organic farmers’ market with Tricia in our new video. Wondering who gets to say what is and is not “organic”? Tricia explains that too, and we decipher the alphabet soup of those organizations in another article.

Please consider sharing this with your friends who don’t always buy organic. Oh, and if you want some good news, check out the Clean Fifteen™—conventional veggies with low levels of pesticides.

  Comments (4)


I read in a whole food cookbook that because peanuts are a crop that is rotated with cotton plants (a very chemical laden plant) that buying organic peanuts and peanut butter is important.

Posted by Marti Carlton on Aug. 01, 2013 at 6:59:19 AM


If you drink it coffee is often grown with chemicals not allowed in the US so very important to buy Organic.

Posted by Grant on Aug. 01, 2013 at 12:32:21 PM

Marti, Yes, peanuts are often rotated with cotton (partly so that the cotton will benefit from the nitrogen-fixing properties of the peanut legume). You make an interesting point about looking at the crop rotation and what non-food conventional pesticides might be used when that occurs.

Posted by GrowOrganic.com on Aug. 01, 2013 at 3:05:35 PM

Grant, Thank you for this reminder!

Posted by GrowOrganic.com on Aug. 01, 2013 at 3:06:04 PM

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