Could an apple a day mean more, not fewer, trips to the doctor's office? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its annual Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists today, and the report shows that apples are among the most pesticide-laden fruits on the market.
According to the environmentalist group, apples — the country's most popular fruit after bananas — have the highest composite levels of pesticides of any produce. Although most of the pesticide amounts found were within guidelines that federal regulators consider OK to eat, EWG found pesticide residue in 98 percent of the country's conventionally grown apples. Also topping that list? Celery, strawberries, peaches, and blueberries. Cilantro, which was tested for the first time since the program's inception, featured at least 30 unapproved pesticides.
More reassuring is the Clean 15, EWG's list of produce with the lowest levels of pesticides. Those include skinned fruit and vegetables such as onions, corn, pineapples, avocado, and watermelon; sweet peas, kiwi, and grapefruit are also on the list. You can download both comprehensive lists on EWG's website.
I've always questioned the need to buy organic berries, but at this moment, they seem well worth the potential price. Are you concerned about pesticides in your produce? If so, what do you make sure to buy organic?