Last year, apples, peaches and grapes topped the Environmental Working Group's 2014 Dirty Dozen list. The 2015 list is out, and apples, peaches and nectarines are now the top three with the highest pesticide load. Grapes slipped down to number five.
What is the Dirty Dozen? It's a list of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables found to have the highest pesticide loads when tested. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) creates a Shopper's Guide to Produce each year to help consumers know how fruits and vegetables rank, making it easier to know should be bought in organic versions. Here are some of the key findings from this year’s report:
- 99 percent of apple samples, 98 percent of peaches, and 97 percent of nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
- The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce.
- A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
- Single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.
These are the 12 fruits and vegetables that the EWG found to have the highest pesticide load. The organization recommends that shoppers who are looking to reduce the amount of pesticides that end up in their diet should buy organic versions of these foods.
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Imported snap peas
The bottom of the list are the cleanest fruits and vegetables in terms of pesticide load. They contained "relatively few pesticides."
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweet peas
- Sweet potatoes
Related on MNN:
- The most common pesticide found on U.S. apples is banned in the EU
- Can we trust imported organic foods?
- Colony collapse disorder's link to pesticides strengthened by new study