The Dirty Dozen Fruit and Vegetables for 2013

strawberries-55303_640By Guest Contributor, Ashli Sweat of But What About Protein?

There’s no doubt that the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure, but did you know that you can actually reduce your pesticide exposure by as much as 80% by choosing to purchase the organic version of certain fruits and vegetables, known as “The Dirty Dozen”?

Each year, the Environmental Work Group releases their “Dirty Dozen” list – outlining the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide exposure, thus making them the most important fresh produce to buy organic. This year EWB has expanded their list to include two more vegetables high enough in pesticide residue that we should buy their organic counterparts, with the list now totally fourteen fruits and vegetables.

Here’s the latest Dirty Dozen list for 2013:

  •  Apples
  • Celery
  •  Cherry Tomatoes
  •  Cucumbers
  •  Grapes
  •  Hot Peppers
  •  Imported nectarines
  •  Peaches
  •  Potatoes
  •  Spinach
  •  Strawberries
  •  Red Bell Peppers
  •  Kale/Collard Greens
  •  Zucchini

Now we all know that organic food costs slightly more than regular, non-organic food, but by purchasing the organic version of the items listed on the Dirty Dozen list, you’ll be substantially reducing your pesticide exposure – a more than fair trade off for the few extra dollars you’ll spend each week

 Source: Environmental Work Group

AshliSweatAshli Sweat is the wife of an Active Duty soldier, writer and world traveler. She was born in Australia, went to school in France, and has now settled in the United States after marrying her American husband. She is the proud fur-mama of Pepe and Freya (no kids yet), founder of the vegetarian food blog “But What About Protein?” and avid yoga and spin devotee.  She is currently completing her Bachelor’s degree in Writing and one day hopes to become a published author.


  1. One more reason I’m itching to get my garden going(just a tad behind this year)! Thanks for sharing!

  2. YES!! Buy organic as much as possible and get out there and start your own edible garden!! It’s not as difficult as you think and the plants can be just as appealing, visually, as a non-edible garden. Growing your own edibles cuts down on your food cost, promotes sustainability and cuts the money sent to non-sustainable farming practices and chemical pushers like Monsanto. And that, in itself, it’s a wonderful reason to grow your own. Start a community garden in your neighborhood or look into window farming if you don’t have a yard. Learn to appreciate food. It’s a lot less expensive to spend a little more on healthier food choices than to try to pay for your cancer treatments. And make no mistake, that’s exactly the cost comparison we’re talking about here. You are what you eat and if you put these cancer-causing chemicals in your body, whether you do it knowingly or not, you are creating a perfect environment for cancerous tumors to develop.

    Be healthy. Live longer. Stop Monsanto.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.