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Not So Peachy: Pesticides and Peaches

One of my favorite summer fruits is the peach. When I bite into a perfectly ripe peach, I am in heaven. I just read a new report on pesticides and produce put out by the
Environmental Working Group (EWG). They listed peaches as having the highest pesticide load out of 42 fruits and vegetables they tested.

The EWG, a not-for-profit research group, ranked popular produce based on the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2004.

Here's the produce list that EWG created, ranked in order of greatest pesticide load to least.

1 Peaches (highest pesticide load)
2 Apples
3 Sweet Bell Peppers
4 Celery
5 Nectarines
6 Strawberries
7 Cherries
8 Pears
9 Grapes - Imported
10 Spinach

Interested in seeing the rest of the list? then

11 Lettuce
12 Potatoes
13 Carrots
14 Green Beans
15 Hot Peppers
16 Cucumbers
17 Raspberries
18 Plums
19 Grapes - Domestic
20 Oranges
21 Grapefruit
22 Tangerine
23 Mushrooms
24 Cantaloupe
25 Honeydew Melon
26 Tomatoes
27 Sweet Potatoes
28 Watermelon
29 Winter Squash
30 Cauliflower
31 Blueberries
32 Papaya
33 Broccoli
34 Cabbage
35 Bananas
36 Kiwi
37 Sweet peas - frozen
38 Asparagus
39 Mango
40 Pineapples
41 Sweet Corn - frozen
42 Avocado
43 Onions 1 (lowest pesticide load)

While washing and rinsing fresh produce may reduce levels of some pesticides, it does not eliminate them. Peeling also reduces exposures, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the peel. The best option is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and choose organic when possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.


SaraNoH SaraNoH 7 years
I recently was watching Dr. Oz and they were talking about just this. A guest speaker was saying one thing you can do is mix 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 cup water, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of baking soda... spray it on your produce and sit for 5 minutes and it should help get rid of some pesticides. I'm pretty sure that's the recipe.... sometimes buying organic is just too expensive! :(
pinkdragonfly pinkdragonfly 10 years
Yum...pesticides... :(
MuppetsForDinner MuppetsForDinner 10 years
I just ate a peach for lunch! Ack!
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Thanks for posting this info Fit! My family lived across the road from an apple orchard for more than 10 years when I was a kid and the pesticide really affected our lives!! First off, the farmer who sprayed wore a haz-mat suit and still ended up getting several brain tumours. The birds that were born in the orchard were deformed and most didn't live long (died as babies). My younger brother and I both developed neurological diseases, and my dad and our neighbour on the other side of the orchard both got cancer. Please protect your family and buy organic as much as you can afford! My boyfriend thinks I'm over-zealous for hating pesticide and herbicide so much, but I've done my research! Here in Canada where I live, the doctors in my province (Ontario) released a joint statement condemning the use of pesticides and herbicides and said they cause cancer, leukemia (particularly in children) and many other neurological and other health issues. If you love kids, animals, clean drinking water, and your health, please avoid putting chemicals on your yard!!
poetess poetess 10 years
imtheheppest imtheheppest 10 years
See, this is exactly why I'm starting to go organic...whatever my budget will allow. But at least the fruits I DO eat are low on the list anyways though..
bibelot bibelot 10 years
I know that most fruits & vegetables are pesticide-laden - that's why I keep a bottle of fruit & vegetable wash at my kitchen sink. It takes the waxes off, too!
christie christie 10 years
Okay so I now know which fruits and veggies to buy organic. Thankfully there is a store here that has some pretty cheap organic foods.
ccy ccy 10 years
Mmmmm...pesticides... I mean Peaches....
amandaaa amandaaa 10 years
i love CANNED peaches...
madison63 madison63 10 years
wow, that's shocking. i'll be purchasing organic whenever i can from now on. the EWG also did a study on the effectiveness of the myriad of sunblocks out there on the market, and they came out with some surprising results as well. the Alba Green Tea sunblock you recommended before made it on the list but unfortunately the EWG found that it had some health hazards. check out their study at
queencessjosie queencessjosie 10 years
The sad trust, huh? That why our house is filled with mostly organic produce. My mother is a nut about pesticides and other chemicals.
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