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EWG’s 2012 List of the Most Pesticide Laced Produce

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I have become such a stickler for natural and organic fruits and veggies over the years but honestly sometimes, I just can’t afford to buy them. They can be double and sometimes triple the price at my local grocery store. When I see a pound of non-organic strawberries on sale for $2.50, it takes everything in me to resist buying them as I remind myself they are probably packed full of pesticides. Buying EVERYTHING organic can be taxing on the wallet (as I’m sure you know) and I’m not so blessed to have a backyard to grow my own stuff (although I do grow my own herbs.) So if you’re like me and find yourself in a financial pickle and are left with no choice but to buy “conventional” produce then this post may help you determine which ones to stay away from.

I’ve gathered info from the updated annual list for 2012 titled “The Dirty Dozen.” It is formulated by a non-profit organization called the Environmental Working Group whom I happened to really trust for credible information. The Researchers have factored in things like how many of the samples test positively for pesticides, how many have more than one discrete pesticide, the concentration measured by parts per billion, and the highest number of pesticides found in one single sample.  I should add that all testing was done on pre-washed and/or peeled produce, which are regular precautions we take before eating them.

Apples- The shiny and waxy fruit takes the top spot. The study reveals 98% of apples are contaminated with pesticides.

Celery- Every time I buy celery there is always obvious signs of dirt on every stalk. In addition, with that dirt apparently is a boat load of pesticides because it ranked number two on the dirty dozen’s list with 96% testing positively for pesticides.

Bell peppers- It was sad for me to see this one in the top three this year because I love them so much!  A single bell pepper contained 15 different pesticides and overall the samples tested 88 different pesticide residues.

Peaches- I have a bag of these in my fridge right now and they are not organic (sad face.) They held their ranking from last year at the number four slot.

Strawberries- One sample of strawberries contained 13 different pesticides, which is the second highest overall.

Nectarines- These bad boys take the cake in my opinion because out of all the food on this list nectarines contained the heaviest weight of pesticides overall.

Grapes- Whether concord or Isabella, they are generously laced with contaminants. The grapes contained 15 different pesticides on one sample and had the largest range of different pesticides with 66 different compounds.

Spinach- Spinach got a better ranking from 5th place last year to eighth this year.

Lettuce- 78 different types of pesticides were found in lettuce according to the report.

Cucumbers- Such a shame to find these here because this is another one of my favorites to eat especially with a splash of lemon and a little salt. These crunchy green veggies tested 81 different pesticide residues among the samples.

Blueberries- The antioxidant rich fruit tested 13 different pesticides on one sample.

Potatoes- You don’t have to be from Idaho to love potatoes. I love em’ and sadly they were consistently contaminated with 91 percent of overall samples testing positively.

We have all heard about the dangers of pesticides. They are endocrine disruptors and have been associated with learning developmental disabilities in children, which is why it’s so important for us to buy from the farmers market whenever possible. Stay tuned for my next post on the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” for the healthiest and least pesticide-laden produce to buy this year.

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Angie Tarantino
About Angie Tarantino (151 Posts)

Angie Tarantino is a contributor and part founder of The Environmental Blog. She covers animal rights, green tips and general green news topics She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Follow @EcoChic314


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