Most of you would know that I am a fairly well rounded naturopath – I try to be realistic with the dietary advice that I offer and for the most part, practice what I preach!  As such, I’d like to think that I eat a fairly healthy and balanced diet – where possible I buy organic or use fresh fruit and vegies from my garden.  I do however still buy commercial fruit and veg and a recent experience with the worst, most acrid tasting celery that I’d ever consumed prompted me to question just how many pesticides this vegetable had been exposed to prior to reaching my fridge?

Some of you may be familiar with Environmental Working Group’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean 15’.  The Dirty Dozen outlines a list of fruits and vegetable crops that are exposed to the greatest number of pesticides and may therefore carry a higher pesticide residue.  The Clean 15 summarises the opposite.

No surprises that celery almost tops the Dirty Dozen list in America!  Here in Australia, our non-organic farming practices often mirror those used in the USA however the items with an asterisk (*) are specifically relevant to Australian produce. Please bear in mind that much of the produce that you buy is imported from other countries and may have been in prolonged storage.

Dirty Dozen                                                                  Clean 15

Apples*                                                                          Onions

Celery*                                                                          Pineapple

Strawberries*                                                                 Avocado

Peaches*                                                                       Asparagus

Spinach                                                                         Sweet Peas

Nectarines*                                                                   Mangoes

Grapes*                                                                        Eggplant

Capsicums                                                                    Rock Melon

Potatoes                                                                       Kiwi Fruit

Blueberries                                                                   Cabbage

Lettuce*                                                                       Watermelon

Cherries                                                                       Sweet Potato

2 recent additions include Kale & Zucchini                        Grapefruit

Cucumber*                                                                   Mushrooms

Broccoli*                                                                       Sweet corn




Pesticide residue load has been implicated in a myriad of health conditions including ADHD, autoimmune conditions, thyroid disorders and various cancers.

So be mindful of the food purchases that you make – Organic Fruit and Vegetable boxes can be ordered and delivered to your door for as little as $40-50 per week – that’s around $7 per day – or the cost of 1.5 cups of coffee …
Otherwise, get out to your local farmer’s market and green grocer – and ask questions about the food that is fuelling your body – it’s an investment into your health!  I hope that you find this list useful – if you have any other questions relating to this topic, please just ask.

Wishing you the best of health, Josie

Below:  My very ‘green’ & slightly overgrown winter garden!  Yes, we were eating broccoli, broccolini, silverbeet, cauliflower and kale for months:)