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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

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
The Queen! May 02 2014 at 2:08 PM

Washing isn't enough. Buy organic.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
fisherman100243 May 02 2014 at 2:51 PM

Don't just single out China; add our "neighbors" to our south - Mexico as well. News Flash!! Everything in a grocery produce section keeps going up in price - organic or not.

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tonehound May 02 2014 at 2:53 PM

is everyone so stupid that we "must have " a video and then talk about the obvious ... I'm 62, I was told to wash apples and other fruit by the time I could reach the sink ... probably 3 or 4 yrs old. I could strike a match and light our gas stove by 7 .. seriously people can we "throw back" society to when kids KNEW HOW TO Live without a nanny, goggles & helmet or a lawyer ...

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3 replies
meemeepit May 02 2014 at 2:55 PM

and my question is WHY would YOU not WASH EVERYTHING YOU PURCHASE??

Produce....Fruit??

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2 replies
yamel86 meemeepit May 02 2014 at 2:58 PM

Exactly meemeepit. I even wash my hands when I return from the grocery. Think about the handle on the cart....

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TKB meemeepit May 02 2014 at 3:05 PM

You'd BETTER wash everything. I bought the NutriBullet and my husband took over the duty of juicing. He and our grandson took a sip and didn't like it so they poured it out. I tasted it and didn;t like it either but I said it was good for you so I drank it all. As the morning progressed I began to feel really crummy. By later in the day I came home sick as a dog and had kind of figured what my husband had done, or had not done. I asked him if he had washed those fruits and veggies before he juiced them. He looked at me rather blankly and said, "No". I hit the ceiling! I ate everything the fruit pickers had on their hands, even when they had to relieve themselves in the fields. There are no wash basins out in the fields, folks! I was sick for two days. WASH YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES!!!!

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4 replies
HiBarbRayAndMeg May 02 2014 at 2:56 PM

We need bugs, toxins, and bacteria to kill the aliens when they invade and try to take over Earth.. Plain and simple.

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Jeremiah May 02 2014 at 3:04 PM

Food for thought… just remember, many poisons are organic - arsenic, lead, curare, ricin, botulism. No matter what you think, they are all organic in that mother-nature makes them “naturally.”

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1 reply
thomgrisso Jeremiah May 02 2014 at 3:11 PM

Bull Feather next you will tell me Salt comes right out of the ground !

Flag Reply 0 rate up
bulaws7 May 02 2014 at 9:42 PM

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."

Above is copy paste of the last paragraph in the article. Don't they mean, "the pros of eating ORGANIC fruits and vegetables outweigh the cons"?

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Phil May 02 2014 at 3:11 PM

It is alway a good ide to wash the produce you buy. there are many ways to get bad stuff onit. handeling by machines(oils), people ( virus, bacteria) and then there is MONSANTO. They are geneticaly modifying produce so it will be imune to ROUND UP. WTF. ROUNDUP is a weed killer with many human and pet side effects. MONSANTO is the biggest pervayor of toxins in our food supply! It lets the food companies use cheaper (read toxins) to make bigger profits off the health off the consumer. They don't care what we eat just as long as the big food giants buy their posions.

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1 reply
Jeremiah Phil May 02 2014 at 3:21 PM

Phil: you are a doctor of toxicology, no doubt, but kindly produce your proof of Monsanto's toxic purveying. I mean I get your point - - - It really does stand to reason that a biogenetic Company who relys on selling seeds for crops would likely want to poison off all the buyers of their products.

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1 reply
ritalasman Jeremiah May 02 2014 at 4:16 PM

Monsanto is evil. They care only about profits. Google "The World According to Monsanto" and you will get quite an eye opener. Don't need to be a toxicologist to know Monsanto sells "Round Up ready" seeds to farmers so they can spray the crap out of the crops to kill the weeds and the crops won't die. Then we get to eat this genetically altered food that is doused in pesticides. Monsanto claims their GMO food crops are the same as regular crops (complete BS) yet somehow they are able to patent their seeds which they claim are the same. GMOs are banned in so many countries, even China. But not here in the US where corporate profit is more important than the health of the people. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsanto/

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unioncreek May 02 2014 at 3:13 PM

Did you know that organic produce is sprayed with an approved pesticide. So, just buying organic doesn't mean it's pesticide free. To me it's always been that you washed fruit and vegetable before you ate them. Organic is only as organic as the grower says it is. You get dust and pollution on crops that carry chemicals from not just agriculture, but from manufacturing.

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1 reply
prosymom unioncreek May 02 2014 at 3:33 PM

also from roads nearby, aircraft flying over, animals that invade the fields, etc.

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jdupont36 May 02 2014 at 9:24 PM

. Once I bring the bags in house............all fresh produce gets washed.
I use a basin that I fill with cold water with a teaspoon of bleach ,except for berries and grapes which go into a bath of 2 parts water to1 part vinegar.
They then get dried and put in plastic bags, then into the fridge.
The only exception is lettuce, this bath of cold water and bleach is done just before use.
A little work, but, knock on wood.........no sickness.

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1 reply
bulaws7 jdupont36 May 02 2014 at 9:43 PM

Sounds great, easier than washing every grape which is what I do. Does the vinegar take pesticides off?

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