Clean 15 the dirty dozen organic fruit vegetables pesticides paleo network-min

Clean 15… and the dirty dozen (updated list)

Unfortunately so much of the fresh produce we eat isn't subject to the growing conditions we'd like. Toxic chemicals, such as fertilisers, sewage sludge, pesticides and herbicides can be used during the growing process. Pesticide use is widespread in conventionally grown produce and certain fruit and vegetables are found to have particularly high levels of pesticide residue.

Even washing your fruit and veggies before eating won't get rid of all traces of pesticide residue. With ADHD, fertility problems, autoimmune issues, thyroid problems and certain cancers possibly linked to intake of pesticide residue, it's definitely something to be avoided.

Clean 15 Dirty Dozen Paleo Network Organic Pesticides-min

Of course, if we could we'd all grow our own produce, or at the very least buy everything organic… but in the real world it's not always possible. Every year pesticide residue levels are meausres and an updated Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list is published. The Dirty Dozen list (which has actually now grown to 18 items!) is the high pesticide level produce – and the Clean 15 is the produce with the lowest levels of pesticides. If you have to buy non-organic, try to avoid the Dirty Dozen and pick from the Clean 15 list.

And of course, if you're buying imported produce, remember the country of origin may have a completely different pesticide regime – so try to buy local!

Here's the updated lists:

Clean 15

Kiwi Fruit
Rock Melon
Sweet Peas
Sweet Potato
Water Melon

Dirty 18


If you're on a tight budget, I can't recommend farmers markets enough – go at the end of the day and you should get some good deals on local, organic produce. Better still, start a small veggie patch – that way you'll know exactly what you're eating.

Paleo Cookbooks cavemanfeast paleo-recipe-book
8 replies
  1. Lindie
    Lindie says:

    I wish I had read this before I went shopping. I must admit I just think fresh fruit and veg that will be good for me.
    After reading your blog I will be a lot more careful in future.

  2. Rog L
    Rog L says:

    I feel rather proud of myself, as I have just stocked up on fresh veg & fruit from my local farmers market. (though I feel I should admit that I always thought a good wash would get rid of all the rubbish add ons)

  3. Denise
    Denise says:

    All you say is right, so glad I have just started to grow my own veggies. I don’t even have a garden just a balcony, so I have some planters filled with seeds.
    Looking forward to eating good stuff home grown as well.

  4. Suzzan
    Suzzan says:

    I’ve saved these lists on my phone for when I go shopping. What about tomatoes and bananas – obviously not extremely ‘dirty’ or ‘clean’. Should I presume anything not on the clean list should be organic?

  5. Neil
    Neil says:

    If we should avoid dirty list , then there is very little to eat. I wonder if organic is any better. I love grapes and both my son do .
    What should we eat now.

    • PaleoGirl
      PaleoGirl says:

      Hi Neil, not avoid at all, but if you are able to buy some things organic, buy organic versions of things on the dirty list.

  6. Evgenia
    Evgenia says:

    I visited farmers market in Sydney(Randwick) hoping to purchase fresh fruits and veg without any pesticide, but have been told by the farmers selling their that they still spray their produce and it’s impossible to grow fruits and veg in Australia without spraying.

    I guess buying organic is the only way to keep away from chemicals.

Comments are closed.