The 2020 List Of Pesticide Laden Foods - Save Our Bones

A recently-published study analyzed the existing scientific literature and found evidence that supports the Save Institute's recommendation to consume organic produce whenever possible.

Today, we'll have a closer look at that study and its findings on the relationship between dietary pesticide exposure and a variety of medical conditions. Then you'll get the just-released EWG's yearly lists of the produce items with the most and least residual pesticides.

This is essential information for avoiding bone-harming toxins, and this year's report contains some shocking news about a previously untested food: raisins.

About The Study

A study published this year in the journal Nutrients took on the task of systematically assessing the health impacts of an organic diet in comparison to a conventional (non-organic) one.

After analyzing the results of 35 papers detailing clinical trials and research studies, they were able to paint a picture of our current scientific understanding of the ways in which non-organic foods affect our health.

Not surprisingly, they found that organic food consumption reduces pesticide exposure. In four different studies they examined, people who switched from conventional to organic diets saw a significant reduction in their urinary pesticide concentrations. Other studies linked higher consumption of organic foods with improved fertility and birth outcomes, reduced incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and lower BMI (body mass index).1

While the authors note that more research is needed to further explore the benefits of an organic diet, and exactly what is required to attain them, it's not difficult to conclude that consuming fewer pesticides will have a positive effect on health.


A meta-analysis of studies examining the health outcomes linked to organic vs conventional diets found that participants who consumed organically-grown foods had lower urinary pesticide concentrations and improved health outcomes in certain areas, including the incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and BMI.

Use These Lists To Avoid Contaminated Produce

We can put the lessons learned from the study above into practice using the newly released Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists from the EWG. Every year the EWG compiles the results of the past few years of the USDA's Pesticide Data Program and creates two lists.

This year they found that nearly 70 percent of the fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of chemical pesticides used in farming. And surprisingly, this year's report included a food that has not previously been tested, but which proved to be the most contaminated item tested: raisins.

Raisins would take the first spot on the Dirty Dozen list if they were included alongside the fresh produce. A shocking 99 percent of non-organic raisin samples had residue of at least two pesticides.

Even organic raisins were found to harbor a surprising number of pesticides, for reasons unknown. The EWG suggests substituting prunes for raisins whenever possible. But bear in mind that unlike raisins, prunes are acidifying, so adjust the 80/20 balance of your day's meals accordingly.

Only buy organic varieties of the foods listed in the Dirty Dozen, as these fruits and vegetables have been found to contain the highest levels of residual pesticides of all the produce tested.

Dirty Dozen List

*Foundation Food

Conversely, the foods on the Clean Fifteen list were found to have the lowest levels of pesticides, even when conventionally grown. If you can't get organic produce at all, then choose foods from this list to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.

Clean Fifteen List

*Foundation Food


The EWG uses information from the USDA's Pesticide Data Program to compile lists of the foods with the highest and lowest rates of pesticide contamination when conventionally grown. Use these lists to remember which foods to only by organic (The Dirty Dozen) and which foods are more likely to be safe if you don't have access to organic options (The Clean Fifteen).

What This Means To You

If you're reading this list and realizing that you've been eating produce that likely contained pesticide residue, you can support your liver and other body systems with a healthy detoxing cleanse. The Save Institute specially designed the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse to support bone health and overall wellness, with a 7-day bone-accelerating program that will keep you feeling energized and fresh throughout.

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Moving forward, try to choose organic varieties of all of your produce but especially any item on the Dirty Dozen List. In addition, substitute prunes or other dry foods of your choice for raisins whenever possible.

By avoiding pesticides and other harmful residual chemicals, you protect your body's toxin filtration system, and in doing so, you’re protecting your bones and your overall health.



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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Medy

    Dear Vivian,

    As my T scores indicated I had Osteoporosis, I was put on Fossamax and Calcimagon D3 for many years. I stopped Fossamax after 7 years and instead have been taking Prolia injection every 6 months since then and took Calcimagon D3 Forte for around 5 years already.

    My T scores last year indicated I had progressed into osteopenia but am still taking the same injection and Calcimagon until now.

    Although my doctor advised me to continue as she believes the meds are working in my case, I am thinking of stopping Prolia and Calcimagon to follow your advice not to be dependent on drugs. If that is the case, how should I proceed to stop as I might have withdrawal symptoms. I would appreciate your advice. Many thanks.


  2. Mary Anne Mangigian

    I have been taking Tymlos (the new Forteo) for 6 months now. It was recommended by my Endocrinologist to take for 18 to 24 months total because my Dexa scan showed -3.5 for my hip and spine. When I asked about diet ,etc., she explained the only way for post menopausal women to build bone density is to take this. Without it, my bones will not increase in density. I am conflicted with your reports. I need to first increase the bone before it can be maintained. Please let me know if you have seen significant increase ,or decrease in numbers with diet alone, with numbers as low as mine. Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Many Savers from all around the world have improved their bone density by following a pH-balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis. Regardless of your T-scores, the bone remodeling process that’s necessary to gain bone mass and tensile strength will occur when you provide your body what it needs.

      You can read the testimonials here:

      Stay positive and keep in touch!

  3. Hester

    Hi Vivian – thanks so much for this article appreciate it very much.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Hester!

  4. Lynda Armstrong

    I have a question. Is it ok to eat pasta made from quinoa or any other pasta made from something than wheat products? I am a big pasta lover.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Absolutely! Avoiding gluten is a very good decision, whether you’re gluten intolerant or not. And quinoa is alkalizing and an excellent source of bone-healthy nutrients and complete protein. Enjoy!

  5. Lynda Armstrong

    I truly appreciate you, your program and your very informative articles. At this point, you are the only person who has good information on how to deal with this situation. The doctors here in Peterborough, Ontario in Canada don’t offer any help or discuss ideas on how to deal with Osteoporosis. It even took my GP 6 to 8 months to get me in for a CT scan. By that time I had suffered no end of excruciating pain from 4 fractures in my spine and 2 fractures in my sacral. His comment was I see you have a little arthritis in your lower spine….then he handed me a prescription for Antonella’s and that was all there was to help from a doctor. I have been searching for help from somewhere for the past 6 to 8 months until a friend sent me your URL. Thanks to my good friend and thank you for what you are doing. Bless you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Dear Lynda,
      Your experience with your doctor is sad, but it makes me happy to know that now you’ve taken your bone health into your own hands and will make progress with it. I hope you’re feeling better and that you’ll continue to improve. Stay positive and keep in touch!

  6. Ita

    Thank you, Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Ita!

  7. Patricia

    Love all your posts Vivian! They all are so helpful and full of good advise. If it wasn’t for your site I would probably be on some high powered and dangerous drug with adverse side effects. Thank you for making our bone health your life’s mission!

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