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Fruit of the Gloom: 12 Pesticide-Packing Produce and 15 Clean


By Scott LaFee   |   April 28, 2016

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently announced its latest “dirty dozen,” those fruits and vegetables the advocacy organization says are perilously fraught with pesticide residues.


Some of these chemicals are “relatively benign,” according to the EWG, but others have been associated with diseases, hormone imbalances, neurological problems or developmental issues.

The utility of the dirty dozen listing, which the EWG has done for years, is a matter of debate. You can read a little bit about that here and here. Not surprisingly, groups like the Alliance for Food and Farming, an organization of agricultural interests, takes a skeptical view.

Nonetheless, here’s the EWG’s 2016 listing, plus the group’s “clean fifteen,” which touts produce the group says is less likely to carry pesticide residues.

If you take anything from all of this, it should be that all produce ought to be thoroughly washed before consuming, including fruits like cantaloupe (When you cut through a cantaloupe, the knife blade can transport materials into the fruit).

The 2016 Dirty Dozen

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Sweet bell peppers
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

The 2016 Clean Fifteen

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Frozen sweet peas
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Honeydew melon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Cantaloupe
  15. Cauliflower