What Are The Dirty Dozen?

At Buffalo Market, we pride ourselves on building relationships with local farmers and suppliers, and trying to provide organic produce wherever possible. We believe in a Farm to Table philosophy, and that food – and the way we farm it – can be better for our bodies, the environment, and the people tasked with producing it. This is our mission.

Part of the reason we are so enthusiastic comes from knowledge of the so-called Dirty Dozen. This refers to 12 “dirty” crops, the ones that farmers have traditionally used the most pesticides and industrial chemicals on. And the data is real – every year, the US government produces a Pesticide Data Program Report, a monitoring system that was started back in 1991 to keep tabs on what chemicals are used on which crops, and in what quantities.

For 2020, the Dirty Dozen are (in order): 

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes


These twelve crops contain the highest level of pesticide and chemical residue, and so should always been bought organic where possible. Strawberries, which have topped the list for a number of years, can contain up to 22 different pesticides, while 97% of spinach – which comes in at number two – contains a number of toxic residues.

The Dirty Dozen has even been trademarked – the 501(c)(s) non profit Environmental Working Group owns trademarks for both this term and the Clean 15, and produces the two lists annually as part of the EWG’s Shoppers Guide To Pesticides In Produce awareness campaign.

We have a great selection of organic produce, and are working hard every day to expand it – we want to deliver the best possible food, direct to your door. Add some to your cart today and taste the difference for yourself.

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