Which Fruits and Vegetables Have the Most Pesticide Exposure?

November 30, 2010 No Comments
Organic celery

The most pesticide sprayed veggie?

The debate over organic or inorganic goes, with points to be made on both sides. While we believe that consumers should look past these 2 labels for more relevant information, there are some times when organic may be a good idea.

For example, when we know that pesticides are likely to have been heavily used, we may wish to go organic. According  to the Environmental Working Group, which recently published a survey of fresh foods that were most exposed to pesticides and those that were least expose to pesticides, some interesting things came up. Celery took the dubious honor of being the most exposed of the group in the study. Celery was followed closely by two of our favorite sources of potassium, peaches and strawberries (and what an irony that organic strawberries were shown to have less potassium). And you thought it was the cream that would do you in, didn’t you? Fourth and fifth palce were taken by apples and blueberries.

This doesn’t mean you can’t eat these foods, simply that it might be a good idea to buy them organic when you can. If you can’t, make sure you wash them with more than the usual thoroughness.

Meanwhile, on the brighter side, were  the food that got the least exposure to pesticides, which were topped by our old stand bye, onions. Onions are tough little buggers, so there’s no surprise there. However, they were followed by avocado, sweet corn, pineapple and (yum) mangoes. You can spare yourself the trouble of finding organic here.

Interesting that while potatoes found themselves in the pesticide top 12, sweet potatoes made it onto the relatively pesticide free list.

The full list for each is reproduced below.

Pesticide heavy (try to buy organic):

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Cherries
  10. Kale/Collard greens
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes

Relatively pesticide free:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangoes
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potato
  15. Honeydew melon
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