This innocent-looking, low-calorie, fiber-
filled vegetable is #1 on the Dirty Dozen list.
Buy organic celery. Photo courtesy
Can you name the most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables?
If not, you’re probably ingesting more pesticide residue than you’d like.
The Environmental Working Group has found that people who eat five fruits and vegetables a day from the Dirty Dozen list (below) consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat from the 15 least-contaminated conventionally grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than two pesticides daily.
These data are based on produce tested as it is typically eaten: washed or rinsed, peeled, etc., depending on the type of produce.
Rinsing reduces, but does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling helps, but valuable nutrients are often contained in the skin.
The best approach, recommends the EWG, is to eat a varied diet, scrub all produce and buy organic when possible.
The Dirty Dozen Fruits & Vegetables
Apples, bell peppers, blueberries, celery, cherries, grapes (imported), kale, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries. As your budget allows, buy organic varieties of this produce.
The Clean 15 Fruits & Vegetables
Asparagus, avocado, cabbage, cantaloupe, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangos, onions, pineapple, sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potato, watermelon. Conventionally grown produce is A-OK.
Learn more at FoodNews.org. You can download a PDF version of the guide or the iPhone app.