The Environment Working Group (EWG) has produced a shopper’s guide to pesticide residues on a number of fresh produce to help consumers make the best choices when it comes to their exposure to pesticide residues in their food.
A number of common fruits and vegetables were tested to determine how much (if any) pesticide residues they contained after they were sold to consumers.
According to the EWG, “when you eat the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you’ll be exposed to an average of 10 pesticides a day.”
The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides ranks pesticide contamination on these fruits and vegetables (after they had been rinsed and/or peeled) based on meta analysis of 96,000 studies conducted for pesticides on these foods from both the USDA and FDA between 2000 and 2009.
The “dirty dozen” – the list of produce that should be purchased organically only:
- Blueberries (Domestic)
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Kale / Collard Greens
- Grapes (Imported)
It should be noted that this list of produce that has been tested has been in the USA, but undoubtedly similar findings would occur in Australia and so Australian consumers are advised to choose organic for these foods in particular, but other foods, as much as possible. The full list of the best and worst foods can be found on the EWG’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides.