The Dirty Dozen : 12 Toxic Fruits and Veggies!

Vegetables are good for your health. But it’s better if you buy organic. That’s what the US-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends. The EWG recently came out with its “Dirty Dozen” list of most contaminated fruits and vegetables. The list was based on the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticide residue on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. And in the tests, 68 percent of food samples had detectable pesticide residues after they had been washed or peeled! What’s worse, they also tested three popular types of baby food and found pears and green bean samples contaminated with fungicides and bug killers!

But you can reduce your exposure to pesticides by eating food that made it to the “Clean Fifteen” list ~ or those which are least likely to be pesticide-tainted.

Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 15 pesticides a day, on average while eating the 12 least contaminated will expose a person to fewer than two pesticides a day. Still, the EWG says it’s still best to eat your fruits and veggies as the health benefits outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. The best option is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and choose organic when possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Dirty Dozen (Buy these organic)

1 Apples

2 Celery

3 Sweet bell peppers

4 Peaches

5 Strawberries

6 Nectarines

7 Grapes

8 Spinach

9 Lettuce

10 Cucumbers

11 Blueberries

12 Potatoes


Clean 15 (Lowest in Pesticide)

1 Onions

2 Sweet Corn

3 Pineapples

4 Avocado

5 Cabbage

6 Sweet peas

7 Asparagus

8  Mangoes

9  Eggplant

10 Kiwi

11 Cantaloupe

12 Sweet potatoes

13 Grapefruit

14 Watermelon

15 Mushrooms