Every year for the past 10 years, a non-profit advocacy agency called the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released a list of the most-pesticide contaminated produce.
The “Dirty Dozen”, part of the EWG’s yearly “Shoppers Guide to Pesticide in Produce” is compiled from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s data on 48 most commonly sold fruits and veggies with pesticide residue.
“The Dirty Dozen”; Fruits and Vegetables Containing Pesticides
According to EWG’s data, the number one fruit contaminated with pesticide residue is apples, which are consecutively at the top of the list.
Almost every sample of apples has been tested 99 percent positive for at least one pesticide residue.
According to the EWG data, strawberries, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and celery tested positive for 13 different pesticides.
Exposure to 13 pesticides in one single strawberry may be startling however, a single grape was tested and results showed that it contained about 15 traces of different pesticides.
Potatoes ranked in at number eleven on the list carrying more pesticides by weight than any of the other foods tested.
Sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, imported nectarines, spinach and peaches also made the “Dirty Dozen”.
In addition to the “Dirty Dozen” the EWG also put together a list called the “The Clean 15”.
“The Clean 15”
The EWG puts out “The Clean 15” in addition to the “Dirty Dozen”, to help consumers know what fruits and vegetables to buy organic and what doesn’t necessarily need to be organic.
According to the list, avocados were the cleanest with only 1 percent of samples showing any pesticide residue.
Samples of pineapples, kiwis, papayas and mangos showed 80 percent and higher containing no pesticides at all.
In addition, 61 percent of cantaloupes had no residue either. No single fruit sample from the “Clean 15” tested positive for more than four types of pesticides.