The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its annual Dirty Dozen list, which publicly ranks results of USDA and FDA testing of 32,000 samples of 48 non-organic fruits and veggies commonly found in the U.S.
(Note: The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit devoted to "research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability." The 22-year-old group's mission is "to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.")
"Two-thirds of produce samples in recent government tests had pesticide residues," writes the EWG. "Don't want to eat bug- and weed-killers?... We highlight the cleanest and dirtiest conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables."
Without further ado, the EWG's 2014 Dirty Dozen are listed below.
Next week, check back for the EWG's 2014 Clean Fifteen, listing the most pesticide-free non-organic produce currently sold in the U.S. (Hint! Avocados are #1 cleanest. Bring on that guacamole...)
EWG's 2014 Dirty Dozen - "Each of these foods contained a number of different pesticide residues and showed high concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce items."
1. Apples - "99% of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue."
2. Celery - Single samples "tested positive for 13 different pesicides apiece."
3. Cherry Tomatoes - Single samples "tested positive for 13 different pesticides apiece."
5. Grapes - "A single grape tested positive for 15 pesticides."
6. Nectarines (imported only, not grown in the USA) - "Every sample of imported nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue."
8. Potatoes - "The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food."
9. Snap Peas (imported only, not grown in the USA) - Single samples "tested positive for 13 different pesicides apiece."
11. Strawberries - Single samples "tested positive for 13 different pesicides apiece."
12. Sweet Bell Peppers