The Dirty Dozen Foods of 2020

Buy Organic and Live Long.

By Dr. Robin Rose.

Not sure whether the extra cash for organic produce is worth it? Read on; you might change your mind.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), almost 70 percent of the fresh produce sold in the United States contains residues of potentially harmful chemical pesticides. EWG’s analysis of the latest test data from the federal Department of Agriculture supports this estimate.

Even more importantly, the dirtiest produce, making the latest news headlines, according to the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program, is not a fresh fruit or vegetable, but a dried one- raisins!

In the past, EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce has included fresh fruits and vegetables only. However, when the USDA tested raisins last year for the first time since 2007, the EWG decided to see how they would fare on the Dirty Dozen: their annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.

They found that almost 99% of every non-organic raisin tested contained residues of at least two pesticides. Raisins would rank worst of all fruits tested on the 2020 Dirty Dozen!

Eating all the colors of the rainbow in fruits and vegetables is an essential component of a healthy diet. They provide us with phytochemicals/nutrients that are crucial to optimizing gut, immune, and overall health. Unfortunately, many crops contain potentially harmful pesticides, even after washing, peeling or scrubbing, which the USDA does before testing each item. Pesticide contamination varies by crop. Keep this in mind when you purchase your produce.

According to the EWG, the USDA does not test for all pesticides used in crop production. One of the most controversial herbicides not analyzed, glyphosate, or Roundup is the most heavily used pesticide in the United States. High levels have been reported in several grains and beans, such as oats and chickpeas.


    1. Strawberries
    2. Spinach
    3. Kale
    4. Nectarines
    5. Apples
    6. Grapes
    7. Peaches
    8. Cherries
    9. Pears
    10. Tomatoes
    11. Celery
    12. Potatoes