Dirty Dozen


Healthy organic apples growing on a Swiss farm I visited this summer.

Ever hear of the Dirty Dozen? Not the film, but the infamous list of produce types, rated by which ones have the most pesticides and chemicals. The list, put together by the EWG, actually shows 44 foods and each one's pesticide load. Needless to say, these chemicals are very unhealthy. Here's how we can eat less of these toxins (from Food News):

"...While washing and rinsing fresh produce may reduce levels of some pesticides, it does not eliminate them. Peeling also reduces exposures, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the peel. The best option is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and choose organic when possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals."

RANK FRUIT / VEGGIE SCORE / PESTICIDE LOAD
1 (worst) Peaches 100 (highest pesticide load)
2 Apples 96
3 Sweet Bell Peppers 86
4 Celery 85
5 Nectarines 84
6 Strawberries 83
7 Cherries 75
8 Lettuce 69
9 Grapes - Imported 68
10 Pears 65
11 Spinach 60
12 Potatoes 58
13 Carrots 57
14 Green Beans 55
15 Hot Peppers 53
16 Cucumbers 52
17 Raspberries 47
18 Plums 46
19 Oranges 46
20 Grapes - Domestic (USA) 46
21 Cauliflower 39
22 Tangerine 38
23 Mushrooms 37
24 Cantaloupe 34
25 Lemon 31
26 Honeydew Melon 31
27 Grapefruit 31
28 Winter Sqash 31
29 Tomatoes 30
30 Sweet Potatoes 30
31 Watermelon 25
32 Blueberries 24
33 Papaya 21
34 Eggplant 19
35 Broccoli 18
36 Cabbage 17
37 Bananas 16
38 Kiwi 14
39 Asparagus 11
40 Sweet Peas - Frozen 11
41 Mango 9
42 Pineapples 7
43 Sweet Corn - Frozen 2
44 Avocado 1
45 (best) Onions 1 (lowest pesticide load)

"Note: We ranked a total of 44 different fruits and vegetables but grapes are listed twice because we looked at both domestic and imported samples." - EWG

View Full Data Set