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EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce 2014

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Every year, the Environmental Working Group publishes its rating of conventional foods with the most and least pesticide residues.

To see the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen for 2014, visit EWG.org.

EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of produce includes apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes. Each of these foods contained a number of different pesticide residues and showed high concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce items.

EWG’s Clean Fifteen for 2014 – the produce least likely to hold pesticide residues – are avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

A few highlights:

Every sample of imported nectarines and 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.

The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food.

A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides. Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.
 
Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent of avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.

Some 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues.

Leafy greens – kale and collard greens – and hot peppers do not meet traditional Dirty Dozen ranking criteria but were frequently contaminated with insecticides that are toxic to the human nervous system. EWG recommends that people who eat a lot of these foods buy organic instead.

Check out EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

 

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