10 Most Dirtiest Fruits and Vegetables

A crate of honeycrisp apples fresh
Photo credit: Corbis Images

When it comes to buying food for myself and my family, I’m extremely conscientious and take great care to buy the best foods I can afford. I scrutinize food labels and buy the freshest produce. I know that organic produce is better, but it isn’t always economically feasible. Therefore, I buy local produce that’s in season.

Since I’m not buying organic produce, which has lower levels of pesticide contamination, I know the produce I buy needs thorough washing and cleaning, to remove pesticide residue. However, I was still alarmed to learn that I’m buying some of the dirtiest fruits and vegetables that are highly contaminated with pesticides.

According to a guide written by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower consumers by its investigation and research on environmental issues, which impact human health, the fruits and vegetables below were ranked (lowest number = highest contamination), as having the highest levels of pesticides:

  1. apples
  2. strawberries
  3. grapes
  4. celery
  5. peaches
  6. spinach
  7. sweet bell peppers
  8. nectarines – imported
  9. cucumbers
  10. cherry tomatoes

EWG recommends that consumers choose organic selections, if the produce they regularly buy is on the list of dirty fruits and vegetables. Apples, which I buy weekly, were ranked #1 (sigh!)

As consumers, we should take steps to properly wash our produce, before consumption, and pray that it’s enough to protect our health.

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