The Dirty and Not-So-Dirty Dozen

Fresh Fruit Stall

Fruit and veggies are the friends of SocialDieters and healthy eaters. Unfortunately there’s something other than nutrient value and delicious taste to bear in mind: pesticide contamination.

Sometimes known as the dirty dozen, the following lists of fruit and vegetables show the 12 most and least contaminated by pesticides (rankings compiled by the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group, EWG).

Whatever you do, don’t stop eating nature’s delights, just be aware, eat a varied diet, do a little washing, maybe some peeling, and buy organic when you can – especially for the 12 most contaminated foods.

EWG took into consideration how people typically wash and prepare produce (for example, washing apples and peeling bananas). Washing and rinsing produce may reduce pesticides but does not eliminate them. Peeling reduces pesticide levels but valuable nutrients are tossed along with the peel. For more information go to www.ewg.org.

The twelve worst foods (starting with the most contaminated):
1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Lettuce
9. Imported Grapes
10. Pears
11. Spinach
12. Potatoes

The twelve least contaminated foods (starting with the least contaminated):
1. Onions
2. Avocados
3. Frozen Sweet Corn
4. Pineapples
5. Mango
6. Frozen ‘Sweet Peas
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Bananas
10. Cabbage
11. Broccoli
12. Eggplant

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