Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list that ranks produce that are highest in pesticide residue. The produce with the highest pesticide residue is known as ‘the dirty dozen’ and the produce with the least amount of residue is commonly called ‘the clean 15.’

The results are in, and in 2018 strawberries come in at number one on the dirty dozen list. In fact, a single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides. The second most contaminated produce is spinach – which isn’t only high in pesticide residue but has high concentrations of permethrin (a neurotoxic insecticide that can be used to treat lice – gross right?).

What does this mean? Buy organic!

You can view a full list of the dirty dozen below. When shopping for these foods consider splurging and buying organic. If you can’t buy organic it helps to cook them as pesticide levels typically diminish when food is cooked.

The dirty dozen:
1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Grapes
6. Peaches
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Tomatoes
10. Celery
11. Potatoes
12. Sweet Bell Peppers

By the way, if you’re scanning the list and freaking out over the possibly contaminated produce in your fridge but aren’t able to make the switch to organic, it’s OK! Produce from the dirty dozen is still recommended over unhealthy processed foods.

Be sure to wash all your fruits and vegetables. Washing your produce will remove most of the contact pesticide residues that normally appear on the surface of the vegetables and fruits.

In fact, almost 75 to 80 percent of pesticide residues are removed by cold water washing. Whip up a solution with 10 percent white vinegar and 90 percent water and soak your veggies and fruits in them. Stir them around and rinse thoroughly. Be careful while washing fruits like berries and those with a thin peel as the solution might damage their porous outer-skin.

If you’re still worried about pesticides, try choosing produce that’s part of the clean 15. These 15 items aren’t necessary to buy organic. Less than 1 percent of the fleshy fruits tested positive for pesticides and just one pesticide was found on any of the 360 sampled.

The clean 15:
1. Avocados
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbages
5. Onions
6. Sweet Peas
7. Papayas
8. Asparagus
9. Mangoes
10. Eggpalnts
11. Honeydews
12. Kiwis
13. Cantaloupes
14. Cauliflower
15. Broccoli