The Dirty Dozen, The Clean 15, and the 7 foods experts won’t eat

By | March 25, 2012

appleI was listening to a recording this weekend of a lecture held at Google headquarters on healthy living. Supposedly they do these lectures regularly to help their employees, which I think is a great idea. During the lecture, the speaker mentioned that he was told that the employee cafeteria at Google does not server foods from the “Dirty Dozen.” Well, this caught my attention, even though nothing more was said about it.  So, I went to Google (the search engine and not the company headquarters), and started doing some research. I had previously heard rumors of some very common foods that might not be good for you and was hoping this would lead me further down that same path – and it did! I discovered The Dirty Dozen, The Clean 15, and The 7 Foods Experts Won’t Eat. From these lists, I get guidance on what might not be as good for me as I use to think and what is probably OK.

The Dirty Dozen (2012)

In case you haven’t heard of them, The Dirty Dozen are the 12 fruits or vegetables that grown normally (meaning not specially grown to minimize pesticides), contain the highest amount of pesticides. Each year, there is a group that releases this list. I am not concerned about the group, but here is the list:

1. apples
2. celery
3. strawberries
4. peaches
5. spinach
6. nectarines, imported
7. grapes, imported
8. sweet bell peppers
9. potatoes
10. blueberries, domestic
11. lettuce
12. kale collard greens

The point is obvious, these contain he most pesticides and pesticides can’t be good for you.

The Clean 15 (2012)

There is also a list of fruits and vegetables that are most likely to have the least pesticides. This is called The Clean 15. Here is this list:
1. onions
2. sweet corn
3. pineapples
4. avocado
5. asparagus
6. sweet peas
7. mangoes
8. eggplant
9. cantaloupe, domestic
10. kiwi
11. cabbage
12. watermelon
13. sweet potatoes
14. grapefruit
15. mushrooms

Point here is these are the foods that are most likely to be safe from pesticides.

The 7 Food Experts Won’t Eat

Finally, just to add one more list to think about, as I was doing my research, I found a list of foods that those with expert knowledge about these foods won’t eat. For example, a potato farmer that says he wouldn’t eat the potatoes he sells becasue he knows what is in them. There are detailed explanations on why each of these is bad and even solutions, such as go organic, but for the purposes of this post, I just want to list them. So, here they are:
1. Canned tomatoes – go class containers
2. Corn-fed beef – go grass fed beef
3. Microwave popcorn – go the old fashioned way of making popcorn
4. Nonorganic potatoes – go organic
5. Farmed salmon – go wild Pacific or Alaskan
6. Milk produced with artificial hormones – go milk without all the bad stuff in it
7. Conventional apples – go organic (wow, apples made both lists)


Tish kind of information can make me crazy with concern about everything being bad for me, or it can just help me with some easy to remember and implement guidelines on what I might try to avoid. For me, knowledge is power and knowing this should be a positive and not a negative. So, now there are a few items I will try a bit more to avoid and hopefully this will help me be healthier, if not now or tomorrow, in the long run.



The above lists were for 2012. Here are updated lists for 2014. Looks like apples still top the dirty dozen list.

The Dirty Dozen (2014)

1. Apples
2. Strawberries
3. Grapes
4. Celery
5. Peaches
6. Spinach
7. Sweet bell peppers
8. Nectarines (imported)
9. Cucumbers
10. Potatoes
11. Cherry tomatoes
12. Hot peppers

The Clean 15 (2014)

1. Avocados
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Sweet peas (frozen)
6. Onions
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Papayas
10. Kiwi
11. Eggplant
12. Grapefruit
13. Cantaloupe (domestic)
14. Cauliflower
15. Sweet potatoes

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1 Comment

Hoping for Health on April 5, 2012 at 10:47 pm.

This is great. I never knew such a list existed. I am glad I found this and you have this here.


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