When grocery shopping for healthy options, fruits and vegetables always seem like a safe bet.

But while nutrition is on our minds, contamination likely is not. Some non-organic fruits and vegetables are so contaminated with pesticides and chemicals, it’s impossible to fully clean them even after washing and peeling.

The chemicals detected in these fruits and vegetables have been found to cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system and brain damage, and developmental problems in children.

Organic is always the way to go when buying produce, but we know it’s not always possible to avoid non-organic options. Here’s a list of non-organic foods the World Health Organization calls the Dirty Dozen (non-organic foods you should leave on the shelf) and the Clean 15 (non-organic foods that are safe to buy).

Happy and healthy shopping!


The Dirty Dozen: Only Buy Organic

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Peaches
5. Strawberries
6. Nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Blueberries
12. Potatoes

The Clean 15: Safe Non-Organic Foods

1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Cabbage
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Eggplant
10. Kiwi
11. Cantaloupe
12. Sweet potatoes
13. Grapefruit
14. Watermelon
15. Mushrooms