The Clean Fifteen!

Dear Clean Eaters:

You’ve learned about the Dirty Dozen. Now, let’s ease our minds with the Clean Fifteen! 

It’s so nice to see a higher number, right?

While The Dirty Dozen might have bummed you out (who wants to hear that their favorite foods are riddled with pesticides?), The Clean Fifteen will brighten your day. 

This list includes the cleanest varieties of produce; the fruits and veggies you can safely buy without worrying about whether they’re organic.

Keep reading for all the juicy (and delicious) details! 

Produce with the Fewest Pesticides — Yay! 

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a terrific nonprofit environmental organization releases its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

This is a terrific tool for learning about which of your favorite fruits and veggies are contaminated by pesticides—and which are squeaky clean! 

I highly recommend printing out both the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Carry them with you at the grocery store or farmer’s market; they make shopping SO much easier! 

Drumroll please…

Here are the fifteen cleanest kinds of produce to add to your cart: 

  1. Avocados

  2. Sweet corn*

  3. Pineapples

  4. Sweet peas (frozen)

  5. Onions

  6. Papayas*

  7. Eggplants

  8. Asparagus

  9. Kiwis

  10. Cabbages

  11. Cauliflower

  12. Cantaloupes

  13. Broccoli

  14. Mushrooms

  15. Honeydew melons

*A small amount of sweet corn, papayas, and summer squash sold in the U.S. are made from genetically modified seeds. So, if you want to make sure you’re avoiding GMOs altogether, stick with organic varieties!

Key Facts About The Clean Fifteen

If you’re itching for more information, here are some key details about the cleanest fruits and veggies, straight from the EWG:

  • Avocados and sweet corn were found to be the cleanest. Less than one percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides. Corn soup with avocado salsa sounds good right about now!
  • More than 70 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no pesticide residues at all. Time to power up with those antioxidants! 
  • Only six percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.

While the Clean Fifteen varieties may not be 100% perfect—they’re pretty close! If budget is an issue, it’s safe to buy conventional with these specific fruits and veggies. It is so important to get as many fruits and vegetables in your body as possible. Aim for ten servings (1/2 cup each) a day. Your body and your mind will love you.

Before you start eating, here is most effective way to wash your Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen produce to get rid of the pesticide residue (according to Dr. Greger’s book, “How Not to Die”):

  • A 10% salt-water rinse: add one part salt to nine parts water
  • Dr. Greger states: “just make sure to rinse off all the salt before eating”

My Favorite Ways to Cook the Clean Fifteen

If you love the fruits and veggies I’ve mentioned but aren’t sure exactly how to eat them, I’ve got you covered. Here are some of my favorite recipes that incorporate the Clean Fifteen!

Avocado Tomatillo Sweet Potato Toast

Pineapple Cucumber Mocktail with a Kick

Smoky Veggie-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with A Spicy Creamy Herb Sauce

Curried Cauliflower with Scallions and Golden Raisins

I’m not saying to avoid the produce on the Dirty Dozen—just make sure you buy organic. 

What are your favorite ways to use these fruits and veggies? Is there a recipe that you would like Garden of Eydie to “plant base”? We’d love to help. Post your suggestions in the comments!


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