Pesticides in Food

It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.

– Meryl Streep

picture of apples which tend to be grown using a lot of pesticides
Apples Tend to be Grown Using More Pesticides

We’ve been thinking about organic versus non-organic a lot lately.  One of the things we’ve discovered is that certain fruits and vegetables, when conventionally grown, tend to be laded with pesticides.


The Environmental Working Group in Washington D.C has published a list of the fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide levels.

Foods Grown using the Most Pesticides

  1. Apples
  2. Cherries
  3. Grapes (imported from Chile)
  4. Nectarines
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Raspberries
  8. Strawberries
  9. Bell peppers
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Spinach

The foods with the lowest pesticide levels

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mango
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon

Can the Pesticides Be Removed?

Now,  organic can be expensive, and many of the foods in the high pesticide level list are otherwise nutritious.  So, how can the pesticides be removed?

  1. Wash and scrub fresh fruits and vegetables under running water.  Don’t soak them.
  2. Peel fruits and vegetables when possible.
  3. Throw away the outer leaves of leafy vegetables.

1 Comment on “The Dirty Dozen

  1. Very important to wash the melons, pesticides or no: E. coli is a possible contaminant with the melon sitting on the ground in the field. I know we can’t all buy organic all the time (and I don’t currently) but there are other concerns besides our own health. Farmworkers can become sick while applying the pesticides, birds, insects (including bees) and other wildlife can be affected, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *