The 2024 Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen Lists Are Here: This is What You Need to Know

Find out what’s changed from last year!

By: Lexy Parsons

Are you concerned about the harmful effects of pesticides on your produce? Well, fear not — the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce for 2024. With data from the USDA and FDA on more than 47,510 samples of 46 fruits and veggies, you’ll have all the info you need to make informed decisions about which produce items to prioritize purchasing organic, and which items are relatively low in pesticide residues (and thus safe to purchase conventional!).

Think of this list as your personal shopping guide, serving to help you navigate the healthiest choices for your body without breaking the bank. Because, let’s face it, shopping 100% organic can be pricey. And, it may not be feasible for everyone’s budget. That said, if you’re on a budget, fruits, and veggies as a whole (whether organic or not) are still a super source of nutrients. Plus, they’re a much healthier alternative to processed foods and artificial sugars. So, don’t steer away from the veggie aisle! This list is here to simply help you prioritize your produce shopping so you can make the most of your money while supporting your health.

The 2024 Results Are In! Here Are the Biggest Changes

When it comes to the 15 Cleanest foods, the good news is that nothing was taken off the list! All 15 foods remain from last year, meaning you can continue to shop with peace of mind that they still contain the lowest amounts of pesticide residue. As for the Dirty Dozen, there were no considerable changes, either. However, you should know that grapes moved up to slot #4 (from #8 last year), meaning they were found to contain more pesticides based on recent reports. So, if you’re a grape lover, it’s wise to shop organic!

And for your little ones? The USDA’s first round of new baby food tests was completed, with promising results. Despite the Dirty Dozen list, conventional baby food products were found to contain fewer pesticides than whole food products, suggesting that brands are more conscious of product testing and taking action to reduce pesticide exposure. However, testing is still underway — a complete list is expected next year.

The 2024 Dirty Dozen List

Of the 46 different fruits and veggies tested, these 12 were of the biggest concern. According to the EWG, 209 pesticides were found on Dirty Dozen items, with 95% of samples contaminated and all items containing at least 50 different pesticides, aside from cherries. 

The takeaway? Make these your must-have organic items, when shopping!

#1 Strawberries

#2 Spinach

#3 Kale, collard greens, and mustard greens

#4 Grapes

#5 Peaches

#6 Pears

#7 Nectarines

#8 Apples

#9 Bell and hot peppers

#10 Cherries

#11 Blueberries

#12 Green beans

The biggest culprits from the list? Kale, collard greens, mustard greens, hot peppers, and bell peppers. Each of these sneaky sources averaged just over 100 pesticides, at 103. Close behind was hot peppers, containing 101. Even more alarming? The neurotoxic organophosphate insecticide acephate (which was prohibited from use on green beans in 2011), was found on 6% of sampled green beans.

In better news, the 2024 Clean 15 list!

The 2024 Clean 15 List

Similar to last year, avocados and sweet corn are at the top of the clean list, with less than 2% of samples showing any detectable pesticides! Though, about 10% of the tested produce had traces of two or more pesticides. However, you’ll be happy to know, of all the 15 Clean items, almost 65% had no detectable pesticide residues, and no sample from the cleanest six items tested positive for more than three pesticides. 

So, if you’re going to shop conventional, prioritize these as your prime picks.  

#1 Avocados

#2 Sweet corn

#3 Pineapple

#4 Onions

#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

RELATED: Farmer’s Market Guide: Top Shopping Tips + Benefits of Shopping Local

Pick Your Produce Wisely!

As you know, grocery shopping can be costly! But, the 2024 Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists are here to help you prioritize healthy choices without breaking the bank on organic produce. Knowing that foods like blueberries, peppers, and dark collard greens are “dirty,” while foods like avocado and asparagus are “clean” can help you fill your cart with the healthiest and most affordable produce available. So, the next time you’re grocery shopping, check out these lists to help you make informed decisions on what to buy — and don’t forget to check the freezer! Frozen produce can be just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, but oftentimes, frozen is cheaper!