Fact: You cannot get rid of all the pesticides on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables simply by washing them.
In the latest government tests analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), pesticides were found on 68 percent of food samples after peeling and washing.
This is of concern because small doses of pesticides and other chemicals may cause lasting damage to health, especially to young children and babies in the womb. It is therefore best for your health and your family’s to buy organic fruits and vegetables.
But since not everyone can afford to buy organic all the time, EWG puts out an annual guide that lists the foods with the highest pesticide loads (the ones that are most important to buy organic) and those with the least.
EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce says the 12 most important fruits and vegetables to buy organic this year are:
Visit EWG for answers to your questions on pesticides in produce and download EWG’s wallet-sized Shopper’s Guide or get its mobile app.
3 Sweet bell peppers
6 Nectarines – imported
11 Blueberries – domestic
The guide also lists two baddies that didn’t meet all of EWG’s criteria for “most contaminated” but are still of grave concern because samples were commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides:
+ Green beans
+ Kale/Collard Greens
The least contaminated fruits and vegetables — which are much less important to buy organic — are:
2 Sweet Corn
6 Sweet peas
11 Cantaloupe – domestic
12 Sweet potatoes