Limiting exposure to pesticides is as easy as pie–or, rather, choosing organic peach and apple. Of the 44 fruits and veggies ranked in the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, conventional peaches were the top offenders, followed by apples. Onions and avocados nabbed best-for-you billing.
Consumers could reduce pesticide exposure by 90 percent if they replaced “the dirty dozen” with the 12 cleanest fruits and veggies, according to the nonprofit research organization. If onion cobbler isn’t appealing, the group recommends substituting organic produce whenever possible for the most contaminated foods.
The rankings do not account for relative toxicity, a shortcoming reported by the Nutrition Action Healthletter (July/Aug. 2007); a fruit with a small amount of a highly toxic pesticide could rank cleaner than one carrying multiple less-harmful residues. Complete rankings and methodology are available at www.foodnews.org.
3 Sweet bell peppers
9 Grapes (imported)
3 Sweet corn (frozen)
6 Sweet peas (frozen)