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Which fruits and vegetables contain the most pesticides?

Updated: Apr 11, 2018

The Environmental Working Group has released their list of the most pesticide-tainted produce for 2018.


Strawberries lead the list. Spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and sweet bell peppers round out the top 12 in the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization’s guide to the most contaminated fruits and veggies.

“All adults and children should eat more fruits and vegetables, whether they are organic or conventionally grown,” the EWG noted on its site. But the group urges consumers who eat the dirty dozen produce to go the organic route.

The roster — now in its 14th year and designed to help consumers “make better choices and...reduce exposure” to chemicals — is based on analyzing recent pesticide-related tests by the Department of Agriculture.


While pesticides boost crop yields, there are concerns about the impact on people who consume food produced this way — even with Maximum Residue Limits of pesticides that have been set by the government.

Rinsing produce under tap water for 30 seconds is an effective way to get rid of pesticide residues, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, CNN reports.


The Clean Fifteen


On another note, the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” list reveals the produce containing the least amount of pesticides. Avocados lead the list this year, followed by sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower and broccoli.

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