It’s time to tune into the Dirty Dozen, based on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) analysis of USDA tests on pesticide residues on conventionally grown produce. Even if you wash and peel produce, pesticide residues in conventional fruits and vegetables persist; almost 70 percent of conventional produce samples showed pesticide residues, according to the USDA. A total of 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products were present in the produce sampled.
The Dirty Dozen Shopper’s Guide lists the produce with the highest amounts of pesticide residues in descending order, based on the USDA analysis of more than 38,800 samples. The Shopper’s Guide is not meant to be an assessment of pesticide risk: It reflects the pesticide load of common produce, serving as a guide for which produce should be prioritized as organic. It’s important to note that 99 percent of produce has pesticide residue levels below EPA’s safety tolerances. It’s important to fit produce into your diet as your first priority for health, so don’t avoid produce over pesticide fears.
The Dirty Dozen Shopper’s Guide
These fruits and vegetables have the highest loads of pesticide residues, in descending order.
12. Sweet bell peppers
(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)