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Pesticide guide - save money and eat healthy

Why Should You Care About Pesticides?
There is growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can adversely affect people, especially during vulnerable periods of fetal development and childhood when exposures can have long lasting effects. Because the toxic effects of pesticides are worrisome, not well understood, or in some cases completely unstudied, shoppers are wise to minimize exposure to pesticides whenever possible.

Will Washing and Peeling Help?
Nearly all of the data used to create these lists already considers how people typically wash and prepare produce (for example, apples are washed before testing, bananas are peeled). While washing and rinsing fresh produce may reduce levels of some pesticides, it does not eliminate them. Peeling also reduces exposures, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the peel. The best option is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and choose organic when possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

How This Guide Was Developed
The produce ranking was developed by analysts at the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) based on the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2004.  EWG is a not-for-profit environmental research organization dedicated to improving public health and protecting the environment by reducing pollution in air, water and food. For more information please visit www.ewg.org.

 

The Full List: 43 Fruits & Veggies 
 
1 (worst)Peaches   100 (highest pesticide load)
2      Apples       89
3      Sweet Bell Peppers  86
4      Celery   85
5      Nectarines 84
6      Strawberries 82 
7      Cherries  75 
8      Pears  65
9      Grapes - Imported  65
10    Spinach  60 
11    Lettuce  59 
12    Potatoes  58 
13    Carrots  57 
14    Green Beans  53
15    Hot Peppers  53 
16    Cucumbers  52 
17    Raspberries  47 
18    Plums  45 
19    Grapes - Domestic 43 
20    Oranges  42 
21    Grapefruit  40  
22    Tangerine  38 
23    Mushrooms  37 
24    Cantaloupe  34 
25    Honeydew Melon  31  
26    Tomatoes  30
27    Sweet Potatoes  30 
28    Watermelon  28
29    Winter Squash  27
30    Cauliflower  27
31    Blueberries  24 
32    Papaya  21 
33    Broccoli  18 
34    Cabbage  17
35    Bananas  16
36    Kiwi 14
37    Sweet peas - frozen  11 
38    Asparagus  11
39    Mango  9 
40    Pineapples  7 
41    Sweet Corn - frozen 2 
42    Avocado  1
43 (best)  Onions  1 (lowest pesticide load) 

If you reproduce this please credit us as where you found it and also EWG. Please provide a link or mentioning our services and let us know you're using it.  Thank you.

Copyright The Local Food Company, November 2006

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