This 'Dirty Dozen' Are the Most Contaminated

Strawberries top Environmental Working Group list on which fruits, veggies contain the most pesticides
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2024 9:30 AM CDT
Your Favorite Fruits, Veggies May Claim a Dubious Honor
Scrub those berries down before consuming.   (Getty Images/xamtiw)

If you aim to eat as cleanly as possible to preserve that temple you call your body, you may want to cross-check what you're buying with the new list of contaminated produce items from the Environmental Working Group. The EWG ranked the pesticide levels of the fruits and veggies we regularly buy to come up with its "Dirty Dozen," a compilation that the organization has put together for the past two decades, per CNN. The group tested nearly 50,000 samples of more than four dozen types of nonorganic produce, looking for traces of 250-plus chemicals. Pesticide exposure has been tied to a slew of maladies, including preterm births, congenital malformations, heart disease, cancer, and lower sperm count, among others. The top offender on the EWG's list? Luscious red strawberries.

The full 12:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard greens, and mustard greens
  4. Grapes
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Nectarines
  8. Apples
  9. Bell and hot peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Blueberries
  12. Green beans

Meanwhile, the EWG has the Dirty Dozen's counterpart, the Clean 15, which shows the foods with the least amount of contaminants. Avocados top that ranking; check out what other foods get a pat on the back here. (More food contamination stories.)

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