The Dirty Dozen

With summer rapidly approaching, comes the time when people look forward to eating fresh fruits and vegetables; before placing any in your shopping cart, think twice.


Based on testing done by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Shopper’s Guide ranks 48 different fruits and vegetables by the total amount of pesticides found on them. Based on this, each year EWG releases a list of the conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of pesticide residue—The Dirty Dozen. The 2015 list includes:

  1. Apples
  2. Peaches
  3. Nectarines
  4. Strawberries
  5. Grapes
  6. Celery
  7. Spinach
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. Snap Peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

One of the key points of this year’s report reveals “single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas, and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.”

Connecting with the above statistic, “the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce calculates that USDA tests found a total of 165 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetable samples in 2013.”

The corporations that make these products tell us the pesticide residue levels are at safe levels for human consumption. Remember they’re taking about one substance. Think about pesticide 1 + pesticide 2 + pesticide 3 . . . + pesticide 13—how can you possibly have a “safe level?” Are you willing to take a risk? Are you willing to be a human guinea pig?

Look for organic produce since these fruits and vegetables contain the least amount of pesticides. Even if it’s not a 100% guarantee, eating them is the safer option.

Some additional information: The EWG is “a non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.” Take some time to check out their website; it’s worth the visit.


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