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What’s Safe? Breaking down the “Dirty Dozen” & “Clean Fifteen...” Produce style!

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

You may or may not have heard of the dirty dozen & clean fifteen when it comes to buying organic vs commercial produce at your local market or grocery. The good news is you don’t need to shell out the extra bucks on certain veggies! The not so good news is there are some pretty “bad apples” that ruin it for everyone; and paying a little extra is completely in your best interest & health!


More than 92% of Kale samples tested positive for Dacthal (DCPA) a possible human carcinogen. Lacinato Kale (Dino, Black) are my favorites for eating and the curly green is great for juicing!


There have been studies where there have been a whopping 23 different pesticides found on these favorites in the berry family! Methyl Bromide has been banned since 2017 however the pest control sprays haven’t gotten much better since. Organic is best for these juicy little buggers!


Conventional spinach has shown to be the worst of the bunch. It is most often sprayed with neurotoxins that may attack nerve tissue. Such a beautiful leafy green filled with vitamins A, B2, K, C & more! Best enjoyed organically.


Isn’t this a gorgeous apple? Its an organic Arkansas Black Heirloom from Hood River Valley, Oregon. Usually harvested in November! Anyway, organic is key when it comes to enjoying this Harvest treat. Interestingly, apples are often sprayed with Diphenylamine that preserves color. Clearly not needed on this organic apple pictured! Organic ciders for those cozy Autumn nights is also recommended.


Grapes transform into one of our favorite beverages, am I right? Grapes thin skin provide little protection against pest control sprays. Up to 15 different pesticides have been found on skins.

CYF recommended organic wine company: Secco Wine Club. Secco features wines with a nutrition label!

No added sugars or chemicals, from certified organic wineries.

Keto-friendly if that‘s something you’re into. Cheers! Visit:


90% of cherries tested in 2019 showed chemical residue. This Spring & Summer (in 2021! When maybe life will be like a bowl of...) choose organic when picking.


Pesticide use on Pears has consistently gotten worse since around 2010. When packing healthy lunches, or having a snack. Many of the nutrients in Pears are found in the skin. Pick organic.


The rich red color that make tomatoes so gorgeous is from lycopene. A very powerful antioxidant to combat free radicals in your body & the environment. You’ll find Vitamin C and Potassium as well. When buying canned Marzano’s for your favorite sauce, try Muir Glen organic.


Celery had a wild leap in popularity in 2019 mostly due to the Medical Medium touting the benefits of the juice, which there are many! Abundant in vitamins and minerals, hydrating and anti-inflammatory celery is luckily quite affordable even in the organic variety.

Peaches & Nectarines

Peaches are wonderful in aiding digestion and are pretty low in calories for a fruit, about 60. There are 2 grams of fiber and a gram of protein. Similar to cherries and apricots, this stone fruit is best enjoyed on a Summer evening, organically grown.

Nectarines mimic Peaches genetically to a nearly identical level. You can tell the difference by its smooth skin compared to the fuzzy soft skin of its kin... 😏


The beloved Potato!! Probably one of my favorite vegetables ever despite the higher carbohydrates. Mashed, roasted, baked, French fries, fingerling, red, Yukon or Russet. I love this root veggie! Coming in thousands of varieties, organically grown is the way to go.

I want to add a small disclaimer to this post. Please add as many varieties of fruits and vegetables into your diet as you can! The more colors the better. This list is simply a guide, and if you don’t have access to organic varieties of these foods, it is absolutely OK! Please don’t not eat a veggie on this list because it isn’t organic! After all, you control your fork yes? Making healthy food decisions when possible (organically grown being one of them) is a sure step towards a happy, longer life!

In Health,



According to All varieties of Peppers are an additional fruit to add on this list.

Sources cited for this article:

Crinnion WJ. Organic foods contain higher levels of certain nutrients, lower levels of pesticides, and may provide health benefits for the consumer. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Apr;15(1):4-12. PMID: 20359265.

This post is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

©️Control Your Fork

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