12 Foods with the Most Pesticides

March 18, 2011

peaches Scientists have been warning us for some time about the hazards of pesticides. Even ingesting small amounts of pesticides and other chemicals can have long-term lasting effects on our health, especially during fetal and early childhood development. Research by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) shows that people who consume an average of five of the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, what they refer to as the "Dirty Dozen," per day are ingesting an estimated 10 different pesticides, whereas those who eat from the 15 least contaminated list (see below) ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily. According to the EWG, you can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths by avoiding the "Dirty Dozen" and instead eating the least contaminated produce.  To see the full list - from best to worst - click here. The 12 Worst (Dirty Dozen) Buy organic instead!

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Cherries
  10. Kale/Collard
  11. Greens
  12. Potatoes
  13. Grapes (Imported)

Foods lowest in Pesticides

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangos
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew Melon

Photo by: Debby



Florence Horowitz's picture

SO, is washing by letting water run on the fruit enough ... or should one not eat " Worst "fruits

Sheri Wetherell's picture

Hi Florence,

According to the EWG, rinsing does help but does not completely eliminate the pesticides. If possible, it's best to buy organic, especially for the types on the Dirty Dozen list. I know I'm going to only buy organic now, especially celery! :)

Lamb's picture

I'm really trying hard to make the switch to strictly organic for those top 12 worst offenders. One thing that has helped was to find an image of the list (an easy Google image search for dirty dozen) and use it as my desktop wallpaper :)

Sheri Wetherell's picture

That's so smart! Thanks for the tip!

Raw Food Diet Zone's picture

Great advice!!