The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.  Below is the full list released June 2014 of 48 of the most popular fruits and vegetables ranking them from the greatest amount of chemical residues (herbicides, pesticides and insecticides) – Worst choices – to those with the least chemical residues – Best choices.

According to EWG calculations on their website, “You can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and instead eating the least contaminated produce.  When you eat the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you’ll be exposed to an average of 10 pesticides a day.  When you choose fresh produce from the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables, you’ll consume fewer than 2 pesticides per day.”

What if the most contaminated fruits and vegetables are some of your favorites?

In order to avoid ingesting so many harmful chemical additives make a point to always buy organic produce for those fruits and vegetables ranked the most contaminated or if you do purchase conventionally-grown varieties consume them sparingly.  And remember children are more vulnerable to toxic chemical exposure because of their developing bodies.

The Full List: 48 Fruits and Veggies

Rank Fruit or Veggie
1 (Worst) Apples
2 Strawberries
3 Grapes
4 Celery
5 Peaches
6 Spinach
7 Sweet Bell Peppers
8 Nectarines (Imported)
9 Cucumbers
10 Cherry Tomatoes
11 Snap Peas (Imported)
12 Potatoes
13 Hot Peppers
14 Blueberries (Domestic)
15 Lettuce
16 Kale / Collard Greens
17 Plums
18 Cherries
19 Nectarines (Domestic)
20 Pears
21 Tangerines
22 Carrots
23 Blueberries (Imported)
24 Green Beans
25 Winter Squash
26 Summer Squash
27 Raspberries
28 Broccoli
29 Snap Peas (Domestic)
30 Green Onions
31 Oranges
32 Bananas
33 Tomatoes
34 Watermelon
35 Honeydew Melons
36 Mushrooms
37 Sweet Potatoes
38 Cauliflower
39 Cantaloupe
40 Grapefruit
41 Eggplant
42 Kiwi
43 Papayas
44 Mangoes
45 Asparagus
46 Onions
47 Sweet Peas (Frozen)
48 Cabbage
49 Pineapples
50 Sweet Corn
51 (Best) Avocados

Note: EWG analyzed pesticide tests of 48 popular produce items. Domestic and imported versions of three items – nectarines, blueberries and snap peas- showed sharply different results, so they have ranked those domestic and imported items separately. As a result, the full list of foods ranked by the Shopper’s Guide displays 51 entries.

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