There’s no doubt that fruits and vegetables are a crucial part of a healthy diet. But conventional farming techniques may expose fresh produce to an array of hazardous pesticides. Which foods are the “dirtiest?” Read on to find out where your favorite fruits and veggies stand.
According to the Environmental Working Group, these two lists make up the “dirtiest” and “cleanest” fruits and veggies of 2011:
Dirty Dozen (foods with the highest amounts of pesticide residue):
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
10. Domestic blueberries
12. Kale/collard greens
Clean 15 (foods with the lowest amounts of pesticide residue):
2. Sweet corn
6. Sweet peas (frozen)
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
13. Sweet Potatoes
Because of the unknown effects of pesticides, those who may benefit the most from organic produce include pregnant women and young children. However, it is important to remember that “organic” doesn’t mean spotless. Whether you buy conventional or organic, always wash each item thoroughly before consuming or cooking. And remember, any fruit or veggie is better than none at all – make sure you get 5 or more colorful servings per day!