very year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts together a list— the “Dirty Dozen”—of produce most heavily affected by chemical and pesticide use during the growing process. According to research performed by the EWG and the US Department of Agriculture, the apple tops the list as the most contaminated plant marketed for consumers, with 99 percent of samples testing positive for at least one pesticide.
Because some studies have indicated that excessive pesticide intake via our diets may lead to health issues down the road, the EWG suggests buying organic produce as often as possible—especially those fruits and veggies that are part of the Dirty Dozen. Conversely, the EWG also highlights a list of foods that are least likely to hold on to residues from pesticides. Starting from most contaminated to least, these are the EWG’s “dirtiest” 12 for 2015.
1. Apples 2. Peaches 3. Nectarines 4. Strawberries 5. Grapes 6. Celery 7. Spinach 8. Sweet Bell Peppers 9. Cucumbers 10. Cherry Tomatoes 11. Snap Peas (imported) 12. Potatoes Here are the “Clean Fifteen” title-holders for 2015.
1. Avocados 2. Sweet Corn 3. Pineapples 4. Cabbage 5. Sweet Peas (frozen) 6. Onions 7. Asparagus 8. Mangoes 9. Papayas 10. Kiwi 11. Eggplant 12. Grapefruit 13. Cantaloupe 14. Cauliflower 15. Sweet Potatoes