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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."

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