Guide to Buying Produce
Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list of fruits and vegetables that are most likely to contain pesticide residue. This list is known as the “dirty dozen”. You can use this list to figure out what foods to buy organic in order to reduce the pesticide intake.
Produce on this list:
- Nectarines (imported)
- Grapes (imported)
- Sweet bell peppers
- Blueberries (domestic)
- Kale/collard greens
Environmental Working Group also lists the 15 fruits and vegetables that contain the least amount of pesticide. This list is known as the “Clean 15”.
Produce that contains the least pesticide:
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet Potatoes
EWG is based in the United States, and the list refers to fruits and vegetables found in the States; however a lot of produce sold in Canada comes from the United States, or is imported from the same countries, so EWG’s lists can be used in Canada as well as a guide to buying produce.
The bottom line:
You should not avoid fruits and vegetables because of pesticides. The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables that were grown conventionally are still greater than the risks of pesticide exposure.
Make sure that you include 5-10 serving of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day!