If you can’t afford to buy all of your fruits and vegetables as organic, you’re in luck! There are lists that can help you avoid the most contaminated produce!
The Environmental Working Group has released their annual report of the dirtiest and cleanest produce. The “Dirty Dozen” is a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables containing the most pesticide residues. The “Clean Fifteen” is a list of the 15 fruits and vegetables containing the least amount of pesticide residues.
Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration test our produce for the presence of pesticides and their residues. The Environmental Working Group analyzes those test results and provides their assessment to consumers at not cost. This year, they analyzed test results from more than 38,800 samples of 47 types of conventional produce.
*A total of 230 different pesticides and pesticide break down products were detected.
*Most pesticide residues remained on the produce even after they were washed. Sometimes, pesticide residues remained even after the produce was peeled.
*22 different pesticides or pesticide residues were found on one strawberry sample.
*Nearly 70% of non-organic samples contained at least 1 pesticide.
*40% of all non-organic spinach samples contained DDT, which is a neurotoxic insecticide that is banned in the U.S.
*In the U.S., some sweet corn and papayas are GMO. Therefore, choose organic if you are trying to avoid GMOs.
What You Can Do:
To minimize your exposure to pesticide residues, grow or buy organic when possible. If you choose to only buy organic produce when it matters the most in terms of pesticide exposure, buy organic when fruits and vegetables are on the “Dirty Dozen” list.