12 Fruits And Vegetables With The Most Pesticides

The Environmental Working Group, a charity dedicated to improving environmental health, has ranked the top 12 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.

12 Fruits And Vegetables With The Most Pesticides 1

A healthy diet must include a variety of fruits and vegetables, but it’s also critical that they be safe to eat, which means free of pesticides, pollution, and grime.

Since 2004, the Environmental Working Group, a charity dedicated to improving environmental health, has ranked the non-organic fruit that contains the highest amount of pesticides, a list they refer to as The Dirty Dozen. The Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture provide data for analysis to the EWG.

Economic and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told the press that to inform people both at home and abroad about the food’s safety, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ate radioactive fish from Fukushima waters.

“This year, EWG determined that 75 percent of all conventional fresh produce sampled had residues of potentially harmful pesticides,” according to the EWG. “But for items on the Dirty Dozen, a whopping 95 percent of samples contain pesticides.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that “some pesticides have been linked in human studies with problems including miscarriages, birth defects, and learning or developmental disabilities in children.”

This year’s top two slots on the list were once again occupied by strawberries and spinach, ranking first and second, respectively. Additionally, grapes rose from No. 8 in 2023 to No. 4 in 2024 on the list.

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Here’s the 2024 ‘Dirty Dozen’

The full list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that have been exposed to the most pesticides this year is provided here.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard & mustard greens
  4. Grapes
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Nectarines
  8. Apples
  9. Bell & hot peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Blueberries
  12. Green beans

3 simple steps to clean your produce

As advised by the CDC, thoroughly wash your hands as well as any prep-related items like cutting boards and utensils before and after cleaning your vegetables.

After washing your hands, Carissa Galloway, a Premier Protein Nutrition Consultant, personal trainer, and certified dietitian, advised CNBC Make It that you take the following actions:

  1. Hold the produce under cold water in the sink
  2. Using a clean paper towel, remove all dirt and grit from the produce. Some people also use a clean brush that is specifically dedicated to cleaning produce to do this step.
  3. Use a clean paper towel to dry the produce if you’re not planning to eat it right away to preserve its ripeness. Leafy greens can also be dried using a salad spinner.

Galloway told CNBC Make It in February that while cleaning produce with vinegar or baking soda has grown extremely trendy, it’s not essential.

The CDC strongly advises against cleaning your fruits and veggies with soap, detergent, or store-bought washes.

“There are other theories and options out there,” Galloway stated, “but truly the best option is just simply washing [produce] under cold water.”

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