The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research organization, issues an annual report on the dirtiest and cleanest fruits and vegetables based on pesticide contamination. The eighth edition of the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” examines the pesticide loads of 45 common fruits and vegetables. EWG’s report highlights fifteen fruits and vegetables they call the “Clean 15.” The report also contains twelve fruits and vegetables they list as their “Dirty Dozen.” According to the group’s press release: EWG researchers analyzed annual pesticide residue tests conducted by the USDA and federal Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2010. The samples were first washed or peeled prior to being tested so the rankings reflect the amounts of the crop chemicals likely present on the food when is it eaten. The good news for consumers who avoid pesticides is that EWG found that of the “Clean Fifteen” fruits and vegetables, the individual samples contained five or less different chemicals. EWG encourages consumers to use their report in buying organic fruits and vegetables. The current list of the “Clean 15” include: mushrooms, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, kiwi, eggplant, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, cabbage, avocado, pineapple, sweet corn, and onions.
Image Courtesy: Aloha Organic