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The "Dirty Dozen" Fruits and Vegetables Containing the Most Pesticides

Some three years ago, I warned you about the fruits and vegetables containing the highest amount of pesticides as determined by the Environmental Working Group. The EWG recently issued new lists of the worst fruits and vegetables at your grocery store as well as a "Cleanest 12" based on some 43,000 tests conducted by the USDA and FDA.

What's more, an analysis by the EWG estimated consumers could reduce their exposure to pesticides by almost 90 percent merely by avoiding foods on their "Dirty Dozen" list. A few members of this year's "Dirty Dozen" list:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach

Conversely, the "Cleanest 12" whole foods you can buy, according to the EWG, only expose you to less than two pesticides per day, a huge difference from the 15 pesticides you'd be exposed to daily on the "Dirty Dozen" list. Among the cleanest fruits and vegetables you can buy at your grocery store:

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Pineapple
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli

To stay away from pesticides that do great harm to your health, I urge you to download the EWG's complete listings of the best and worst whole foods at their Web site today. And, when in doubt, always be on the lookout first for organically-grown fruits and vegetables.

Epicurious November 6, 2006

Environmental Working Group October 4, 2006