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We’ve all heard about the benefits of eating organic foods. But in these times, buying organic fruits and vegetables can be costly. Here is a list from the Environmental Working Group, which they update annually, on the fruits and vegetables with the highest concentration of pesticide residue.
They estimate that individuals can reduce their exposure by 80% if they switch to organic when buying these 12 items.
All test positive to at least 47 different chemicals, some up to 67! As a general rule, those with an outer layer of skin that is not eaten can absorb more of the chemicals (such as avocado, pineapple or corn), whereas a berry which lacks the outer protection will have more chemical residue.
Another good resource is What’s on my food by the Pesticide Action Group, which uses the same USDA pesticide testing data available in an easy to use site.
I copied this list into my phone to use as quick reference when grocery shopping.
Dirty Dozen: Highest Pesticide Residue
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (Imported)
8. Sweet Bell Peppers
10. Blueberries (Domestic)
12.. Kale/Collard Greens
Clean 15: Lowest Pesticide Residue
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet Peas
9. Cantaloupe (Domestic)
13. Sweet Potatoes
Photo: Ingalls Photography; Courtesy of Eyla