Just about every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests thousands of produce to find ones that are the most contaminated with chemicals and pesticides. About two thirds of produce samples tested by the U.S. department of agriculture in 2013 contained some kind of pesticide residue. This could explain the skyrocketing demand for organic, chemical-free and pesticide-free foods.
EWG puts this list together for those that cannot afford or find an organic diet and to help you limit your exposure to dangerous pesticides. If you typically grab an apple to go without washing, you may be unpleasantly surprised after seeing the 2015 list for the dirty dozen. The apples have topped the dirty dozen list for the fifth year in a row as farmers are applying more chemicals then ever to preserve this food. Also, for the second year in a row, avocados have topped the clean list.
Some highlights of the study include:
- A shocking 99% of apples, 98% of peaches, and 97% of nectarines have revealed to contain at least one pesticide residue.
- The potato showed more residue of pesticides than any other produce by weight.
- Sweet bell pepper and single grape samples contained 15 different pesticides.
- Single samples of nectarines, imported snap peas, strawberries, cherry tomatoes and nectarines revealed about 13 different pesticides each!
Now for the good:
- Only 1% of our favorite fruit, the avocado, contained any detectable pesticides
- About 89% of pineapples, 88% of mango, 82% of kiwi, 80% of papayas, and 61% of cantaloupe showed no residues whatsoever.
- Not one sample of fruit within the clean fifteen list showed more than 4 types of pesticides.
- Veggies on the clean fifteen list are extremely unlikely to contain multiple pesticide residues as only 5.5 percent of clean fifteen samples had 2+ pesticides.
2015 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen List
Here’s the guide that you can download and carry with you to the supermarket. The dirty dozen contains the most pesticides, while the clean contains the least.
Download & Print: EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide (PDF)