Which fruits & veggies contain the most (and least) pesticides?

Most non-organically grown foods contain pesticides. Before you serve fruits or veggies to your family, check these stats

April 11, 2018
Fresh strawberries

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We all know fruit and vegetables are better for us than junk food. But if thery're not organic, you may have to deal with some pesticides in that produce.

The Environmental Working Group puts out a list each year of the "dirtiest" and "cleanest" varieties of produce, meaning the ones containing the most and least amount of impurities and pesticides. They can email you a PDF of their lists, which is super helpful, but here are a few highlights:

More than one-third of strawberry samples analyzed in 2016 contained 10 or more pesticide residues and breakdown products.

More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, peaches, potatoes, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.

Spinach samples had, on average, almost twice as much pesticide residue by weight compared to any other crop.

Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest. Less than 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.

The Top 5 "Dirtiest" list looks like this:

1. Strawberries

2  Spinach

3. Nectarines

4. Apples

5. Grapes

And the Top 5 "Cleanest?"

1. Avocados

2. Sweet Corn

3. Pineapples

4. Cabbage

5. Onions

Why avoid pesticides? They say some of them can cause brain damage in kids, and hey, maybe in adults, too. So with this list in hand, you can switch to organic versions of the varieties with the most pesticides, and save money with non-organic stuff that's relatively safe. Either way, it seems like a good idea to rinse produce really, really well, right?

Here's the report from the EWC.

Get the list here, and enjoy that delicious (and safe) fresh produce!