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The dirtiest (and cleanest) produce on the market

The Dirtiest Produce on the Market

When it comes to produce, if you're going to eat an apple, you better wash it really well.


For the fourth year running, the environmental working group (a non-profit public health organization) says that apples are the dirties produce out there. What do they mean by that? They mean pesticides. 99 percent of apples that were checked had some sort of pesticide residue on them.

Apples top the "Dirty Dozen" produce list, followed by strawberries, grapes, celery and peaches rounding out the five.

So what is "clean" produce? Clean produce is something that has some sort of skin on it. Avocados are the cleanest. Corn, pineapple, frozen sweet peas, with their thick skin, also make the "Clean Fifteen" list.

The environmental working group explains:

Other fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen are strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, potatoes and imported snap peas. Leafy greens – kale and collard greens – and hot peppers were frequently contaminated with insecticides that are particularly toxic to human health. EWG details this problem in a section called Dirty Dozen-Plus.

EWG's Clean Fifteen consists of conventional produce with the least amount of pesticide residues. Avocados were the cleanest, with only 1 percent of samples showing any detectable pesticides. Other items on the list include corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.



Of course this doesn't mean you should banish apples from your diet and only stock up on corn. The list is meant to bring awareness of pesticide exposure, and remind us to wash our produce thoroughly and consider organic produce.

Today.com explains, "Many health experts, growers, and the environmental working group all agree that the pros of eating non-organic fruits and vegetables outweigh the cons."

Join the discussion

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mrsdak May 02 2014 at 2:21 PM

It is so hard to wash the waxy residue off of apples. I use a vegetable brush and Dawn, and the wax is still on them. Maybe an organic apple is the only one we should eat.

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3 replies
Marcia May 02 2014 at 3:50 PM

Pesticides are not a problem where I live OUTside the Usa. However, ever since I lived in Greece and was taught to add a few drops of bleach to whatever I buy......fruits and vegs....I have done so.

I just went shopping this a.m. and put my pineapple, bananas, limes. strawberries, tangarines, etc in this warm bleach mixture.

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1 reply
tomkat Marcia May 02 2014 at 5:26 PM

use apple cider vinegar instead

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hathor38 May 02 2014 at 4:07 PM

If one uses Food Stamps and Seniors are on mixed income What does one do to get Good food?

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3 replies
tubdo55 May 02 2014 at 4:09 PM

Don't pay $$$ for expensive washes.Kick it old school like my grandmother did-Salt water,kills the pest and washes off the pesticides.
P.S
I have a veggie garden

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1 reply
Roxanne tubdo55 May 02 2014 at 5:29 PM

thank you for that educated advice

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Joey May 02 2014 at 4:27 PM

Don't eat any fruit nor most vegetables. Don't know why, some early childhood trauma of some kind . So, no worries here.

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Rob May 02 2014 at 4:31 PM

Just wash your fruit and produce. No big deal.

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1 reply
sjpxmas Rob May 02 2014 at 4:43 PM

when pesticides are sprayed on trees the pestides don't just stay on the tree it falls to the ground,. where it is washed into the soil and the tree roots suck up the pestisides, and the apples grow with the pesides now inside the apples as it grows ,, so how do you wash the pestisides out of the inside of the apple.

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Dan May 02 2014 at 4:35 PM

On my way to work today I pulled over and urinated in a case of apples sitting in an orchard on it's way to market. I love Washington state.

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Dan May 02 2014 at 4:42 PM

Wait, pesticides are bad for you? They keep me strong!

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moon4hym May 02 2014 at 4:55 PM

Write the supermarket a note or two, direct and firm, but professional. "Don't ask, don't get!". "I go to another place... 'cause of my kids.. cause my doctor told me.. what I read in newspaper..". Gotta start somewhere. Don't JUST type to each other. Ask mgr politely but for real; "What messages can we send the growers and FDA?". Otherwise, it takes toluene or benzene to get that petroleum poison (insecticide) wax off, or must peel most-nutrient-rich skin part of fruit off.

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1 reply
nina moon4hym May 02 2014 at 5:25 PM

or you can buy organic. Yes it does cost more as they do not grow the way large factory farms grow but hey the choice is yours.

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Jesse Strange May 02 2014 at 4:59 PM

Statistics show that ten out of ten people die no matter what they eat.

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3 replies
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