The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.  Below is their full list released June 1, 2010 of the 49 most popular fruits and vegetables ranking them from the least amount of chemical residues (herbicides, pesticides and insecticides) – Best choices – to those with the most chemical residues – Worst 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: 49 Fruits and Veggies

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

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