EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ (2022)

By EWG Science Team

APRIL 7, 2022

EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ (1)

More than 70 percent of non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful pesticides, EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ finds.

This year’s version of the guide, which analyzes the latest test data from the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration, also reveals that over 50 percent of potatoes, spinach, lettuce and eggplant had detectable levels of at least one of three bee-killing neonic insecticides banned in the European Union but still allowed for use on U.S. produce.

A critical part of a healthy diet includes a combination of fruits and vegetables, regardless of how they are grown. But anyone worried about consuming potentially harmful pesticides should know that many are found on many fruits and vegetables, even after they are washed, peeled or scrubbed, which the USDA does before testing.

The goal of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, released every year since 2004, is to educate the public about fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest pesticide residues so consumers can make the best decisions for their families.

The guide includes EWG’s Dirty Dozen™ and the Clean Fifteen™, two lists that provide a quick consumer reference about the most and least contaminated produce.

Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that consuming produce high in pesticide residue, like the items on our Dirty Dozen list, increases the risk of certain negative health impacts, and that choosing organic can almost immediately reduce the amounts of residues in a person’s body.

Recent research from Harvard University shows that consuming fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues may decrease the beneficial effects of fruit and vegetable consumption, including protection against cardiovascular disease and mortality.

EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce combines data from USDA and FDA tests from 2020 and nine years earlier, with the exception of pineapple data, which is from 2002. The newest data released by the agencies included results of tests of nearly 45,000 samples of produce. The USDA does not test every type of produce every year.

(Video) Dirty Dozen List For 2020 - What Fruits & Veggies To Buy Organic vs Conventional

The USDA also does not test fruits and vegetables for all pesticides used in crop production. For example, glyphosate is the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S., and it can be found in high levels on several grains and beans, such as oats and chickpeas. But the USDA has not analyzed these crops for glyphosate. This is troubling, because tests commissioned by EWG found almost three-fourths of popular oat-based food samples, including many popular with children, had pesticide residue levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health.

Read more here about EWG’s research into glyphosate on these foods.

New findings

As in previous years, several pepper samples contain concerning levels of pesticides that can harm the nervous system, including oxamyl, acephate and chlorpyrifos – carbamate and organophosphate insecticides banned from use on some U.S. crops and entirely in the EU.

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency moved ahead with a long overdue ban of chlorpyrifos on food crops. Any future detections of chlorpyrifos will indicate uses that violate this ban.

This year we removed three vegetables from the Clean Fifteen: broccoli, cauliflower and eggplant. That’s because they hadn’t been tested by the USDA in six, seven and 14 years, respectively

As a result, mangoes, watermelon and sweet potatoes were added to the Clean Fifteen.

EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ (2)

EWG's Dirty Dozen for 2022

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

Of the 46 items included in our analysis, these Dirty Dozen foods were contaminated with more pesticides than other crops, according to our analysis of USDA data.1 (The rankings are based not only on the percentage of samples with pesticides but also on the number and amount of pesticides on all samples and on individual samples. See Methodology.)

Key findings:

  • More than 90 percent of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and grapes tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides.
  • Kale, collard and mustard greens, as well as hot peppers and bell peppers, had the most pesticides detected, 103 and 101 pesticides in total, respectively.
  • A single sample of kale, collard and mustard greens had up to 21 different pesticides.
  • On average, spinach samples had 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight as any other crop tested.
  • The pesticide most frequently detected on collards, mustard greens and kale is DCPA – sold under the brand name Dacthal – which is classified by the EPA as a possible human carcinogenand which was banned by the EU in 2009.
  • Other problematic pesticides on greens include potentially neurotoxic neonicotinoids and pyrethroids.
EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ (3)

EWG's Clean Fifteen for 2022

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Cantaloupe
  13. Mangoes
  14. Watermelon
  15. Sweet Potatoes

These 15 items had the lowest amounts of pesticide residues, according to EWG’s analysis of the most recent USDA data.1

Key findings:

  • Almost 70 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no detectable pesticide residues.
  • Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest produce – less than 2 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
  • Just under 5 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had residues of two or more pesticides.
  • The first six Clean Fifteen items tested positive for just three or fewer pesticides per sample.
See the full list of fruits and vegetables.

Health Benefits of Reducing Dietary Pesticide Exposure

Organic standards prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides, among other things. Eating organically produced food reduces pesticide exposure and is linked to a variety of health benefits, according to multiple studies, especially findings from a large study in France.2,3

Clinical trials continue to show that people who switched from conventionally grown to organic foods saw a rapid and dramatic reduction in their urinary pesticide concentrations, a marker of pesticide exposure. 4

Additional studies have linked higher consumption of organic foods to lower urinary pesticide levels, improved fertility and birth outcomes, reduced incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lower BMI and reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.2,3,5,6,7

Researchers from Harvard University used USDA test data and methods similar to EWG methodology to classify produce as having high or low pesticides. 7 And the lists of high- and low-pesticide crops from the Harvard University study largely overlap with EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

Fertility studies' classification of pesticide residues
High pesticide residue scoreApples, apple sauce, blueberries, grapes, green beans, leafy greens, pears, peaches, potatoes, plums, spinach, strawberries, raisins, sweet peppers, tomatoes, winter squash
Low to moderate pesticide residue scoreApple juice, avocados, bananas, beans, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, eggplant, grapefruit, lentils, lettuce, onions, orange, orange juice, peas, prunes, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tofu, tomato sauce, zucchini

The Harvard researchers also found that people who ate greater quantities of crops high in pesticides had higher levels of urinary pesticides and lower fertility.7,8 People who ate a pro-fertility diet, which included the low-pesticide crops, among other foods and nutrients, like whole grains and folic acid, were more likely to have a successful pregnancy.9

From these studies, it is unclear whether the positive effects associated with organic foods are directly and exclusively caused by lower pesticide exposures.

People who eat higher amounts of organic produce tend to be more health-conscious, making it difficult to determine the exact cause of an observed positive health outcome.

In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued an important report that said children have “unique susceptibilities to [pesticide residues’] potential toxicity.” The organization referred to research that linked pesticide exposures in early life to pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems. It advised members to urge parents to consult “reliable resources that provide information on the relative pesticide content of various fruits and vegetables.” A key resource it cited was EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.10

An EWG investigationpublished in 2020 found that for most pesticides, the EPA does not apply additional restrictions to safeguard children’s health. The landmark 1996 Food Quality Protection Act required the EPA to protect children’s health by applying an extra margin of safety to legal limits for pesticides in food. Yet as EWG’s investigation found, this tenfold margin of safety was not included in the EPA’s allowable limits for almost 90 percent of the most common pesticides.

EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ (4)

Genetically Engineered Crops

Genetically engineered crops, also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs, are most commonly found in processed foods rather than in fresh produce. Corn syrup and corn oil, produced from predominantly GMO starchy field corn, are commonly found in processed foods. However, you may find genetically modified zucchini, yellow squash, sweet corn, papaya and apples in U.S. markets, though only papayas are predominantly GMO.

Under a law passed in 2016, beginning this year, some GMO food products in the U.S. must be labeled. But because of the final rule, released in 2018, these labels may be difficult to interpret, with confusing terms like “bioengineered.” Consumers who want to avoid GMOs may choose organic zucchini, yellow squash, sweet corn, papaya, apples and potatoes. Processed goods that are certified organic or bear Non-GMO Project Verified labels can also be trusted to be GMO-free.

EWG provides several resources – including EWG’s Shopper’s Guide To Avoiding GMO Food, the Food Scores databaseand EWG’s Healthy Living app – to help consumers identify foods likely to contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Pesticide Regulations

The federal government’s role in protecting our health, farm workers and the environment from harmful pesticides urgently needs reform. U.S. pesticide regulation, monitoring and enforcement is scattered across multiple federal and state agencies. In 1991 the USDA initiated the Pesticide Data Program and began testing commodities annually for pesticide residues, but EWG remains concerned about pesticide regulation and oversight in the U.S.

The USDA states that a goal of its tests is to provide data about pesticide residues in food, with a focus on those most likely eaten by infants and children. No commodities are tested annually, but some – including baby food, last tested in 2013, and baby formula, last tested in 2014 – are tested particularly infrequently. Additionally, some pesticides are not tested, including glyphosate — despite its being the most widely used pesticide in the U.S.

It falls chiefly to the EPA to decide which pesticides are approved for use in the U.S., including what conditions are placed on their approval and setting the pesticide residue levels on foods and crops. But primary enforcement authority for pesticide use on farms is left to states, and the responsibility for testing foods to determine dietary exposures to pesticides is divided between the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration. But neither the USDA nor the FDA regularly tests all crops and produce for pesticide residues, nor do the programs test for all pesticides commonly used in agriculture.

The pesticide registration process requires companies to submit safety data, proposed uses and product labels for approval by the EPA. But the EPA does not test pesticides independently. Nor does its review fully capture the risks posed by pesticides, because of limitations in available data and failures in risk assessments, such as the exclusion of synergistic effects. This is concerning, because scientists have found that the combination of two or more pesticides can cause greater toxicity than the use of the pesticides individually.

To protect public health, and especially children’s health, from pesticides, EWG has called on President Joe Biden to ban or restrict some of the most harmful pesticides still used today .

One particularly dangerous pesticide is chlorpyrifos, which scientists have definitively linked to brain damage in children and fetuses. EWG and other public health advocacy organizations have spent more than a decade urging the Environmental Protection Agency to prohibit chlorpyrifos from being applied to food crops.

For decades, chlorpyrifos was used on many fruits and vegetables, while the conventional agriculture and pesticide industries repeatedly downplayed the dangers it poses to both children and farmworkers.

In 2021, the EPA finally banned all uses of chlorpyrifos on crops grown for food. In a last-ditch unsuccessful effort to keep the neurotoxic pesticide legal for use on fruits and vegetables, several groups representing conventional growers sought to block the ban. They included the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, the Cherry Marketing Institute and the United Fresh Produce Association – one of the big agribusiness outfits that consistently attacks EWG for publishing its Shopper’s Guide and informing the public about the presence of chlorpyrifos and other pesticides on produce.

Methodology

EWG’s Shopper’s Guide ranks pesticide contamination on 46 popular fruits and vegetables by analyzing 44,702 samples taken by the USDA and the FDA. Each year the USDA selects a subset of these fruits and vegetables to test, rather than testing all crops every year.

To create this guide, EWG uses data from the most recent one-to-two-year sampling period for each food. Since the USDA doesn’t test honeydew melon, EWG uses the FDA’s pesticide monitoring data for this crop.

FoodYearSource
Apples2015-2016USDA PDP
Asparagus2017-2019USDA PDP
Avocados2012USDA PDP
Bananas2019-2020USDA PDP
Bell and hot peppers2019-2020USDA PDP
Blueberries2014-2020USDA PDP
Broccoli2020USDA PDP
Cabbage2017-2019USDA PDP
Cantaloupe2011-2012, 2019USDA PDP
Carrots2014, 2020USDA PDP
Cauliflower2019-2020USDA PDP
Celery2014USDA PDP
Cherries2014-2016USDA PDP
Cherry tomatoes2012USDA PDP
Cucumbers2015-2017USDA PDP
Eggplant2020USDA PDP
Grapefruit2015-2017USDA PDP
Grapes2016USDA PDP
Green beans2013-2016, 2020USDA PDP
Honeydew melon2008-2019FDA
Kale, collard and mustard greens2017-2020USDA PDP
Kiwis2018-2020FDA
Lettuce2015-2017USDA PDP
Mangoes2017-2018USDA PDP
Mushrooms2012-2013USDA PDP
Nectarines2014-2015USDA PDP
Onions2017USDA PDP
Oranges2016USDA PDP
Papaya2011-2012USDA PDP
Peaches2014-2015USDA PDP
Pears2016USDA PDP
Pineapple2002USDA PDP
Plums2012-2013USDA PDP
Potatoes2016USDA PDP
Raspberries2013USDA PDP
Snap peas2017-2018USDA PDP
Spinach2016USDA PDP
Strawberries2015-2016USDA PDP
Summer squash2013-2014, 2020USDA PDP
Sweet corn2014-2015USDA PDP
Sweet peas (frozen)2018-2019USDA PDP
Sweet potatoes2016-2018USDA PDP
Tangerines2019-2020USDA PDP
Tomatoes2015-2016USDA PDP
Watermelon2014-2015USDA PDP
Winter squash2020USDA PDP

Before testing, the USDA processes each piece of fruit or vegetable in the same way people tend to do at home. For example, those with inedible peels are peeled, and those with edible peels are rinsed under cold water and drained before they are tested. Therefore, the USDA test results are a good indication of consumers’ likely exposure. Unprocessed produce tends to have higher concentrations of pesticides, as shown by California Department of Pesticide Regulation test results.

To compare foods, EWG considers six measures of pesticide contamination:

  • Percent of samples tested with detectable pesticides
  • Percent of samples with two or more detectable pesticides
  • Average number of pesticides found on a single sample
  • Average amount of pesticides found, in parts per million
  • Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample
  • Total number of pesticides found on the crop

Within each of these categories, we ranked the 46 fruits and vegetables and then normalized the ranks on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the highest. For each food, we calculated a total score by summing the normalized rank from each metric. All categories are weighted equally, since they convey different but equally relevant information about pesticide levels on produce.

The USDA test program includes both domestically grown and imported produce, and sometimes ranks differ on the basis of origin. In these cases, we displayed domestic and imported items separately to help consumers select the option with the lowest pesticide levels.

The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce full list shows how fruits and vegetables rank based on these total scores.

It does not incorporate risk assessment into the calculations. All pesticides are weighted equally, and we do not factor in the levels deemed acceptable by the EPA. Research constantly provides new insights into the threats pesticides pose to human and environmental health. EWG designed this method to capture this uncertainty and enable consumers to reduce their overall pesticide load.

This article was adapted and updated from the 2021 Shopper’s Guide.

References:

  1. USDA, Pesticide Data Program. Agricultural Marketing Service. Available at: www.ams.usda.gov/datasets/pdp.
  2. Vigar, V., et al., A Systematic Review of Organic Versus Conventional Food Consumption: Is There a Measurable Benefit on Human Health? Nutrients, 2020; 12(1), 7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010007 . Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/1/7/htm .
  3. Kesse-Guyot et al. Key Findings of the French BioNutriNet Project on Organic Food-Based Diets: Description, Determinants, and Relationships to Health and the Environment. Adv Nutr. 2022 Feb 1;13(1):208-224. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmab105.
  4. Rempelos et al. Diet and food type affect urinary pesticide residue excretion profiles in healthy individuals: results of a randomized controlled dietary intervention trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2022 Feb 9;115(2):364-377. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqab308.
  5. Kesse-Guyot et al. Prospective association between organicfood consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: findings from the NutriNet-Santé cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2020; 17 DOI: 10.1186/s12966-020-01038-y. Available at: https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-020-01038-y.
  6. Papadopoulou, E., et al., Diet as a Source of Exposure to Environmental Contaminants for Pregnant Women and Children from Six European Countries. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2019; 127(10). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP5324 . Available at: https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/EHP5324 .
  7. Chiu, Y.H., et al., Association Between Pesticide Residue Intake from Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables and Pregnancy Outcomes Among Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment With Assistance Reproductive Technology. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2018. DOI: 10.1001/amainternmed.2017.5038. Available at: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2659557
  8. Chiu, Y.H., et al. Comparison of questionnaire-based estimation of pesticide residue intake from fruits and vegetables with urinary concentrations of pesticide biomarkers. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 2018; 28, 31-39. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2017.22 . Available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/jes201722 .
  9. Gaskins A.J., et al. Dietary patterns and outcomes of assisted reproduction. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2019; 220:567.e1-18. Doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2019.02.004.
  10. American Academy of Pediatrics, Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition and Council on Environmental Health, 2012; e1406 -e1415. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-2579. Available at https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/5/e1406

FAQs

What are the six most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables? ›

More than 90 percent of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and grapes tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides. Kale, collard and mustard greens, as well as hot peppers and bell peppers, had the most pesticides detected, 103 and 101 pesticides in total, respectively.

What are the Dirty 12 fruits and vegetables? ›

Dirty Dozen™ EWG's 2022 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
  • Strawberries.
  • Spinach.
  • Kale, collard & mustard greens.
  • Nectarines.
  • Apples.
  • Grapes.
  • Bell & hot Peppers.
  • Cherries.

What foods are on the clean 15 list? ›

Clean Fifteen™ EWG's 2022 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
  • Avocados.
  • Sweet corn*
  • Pineapple.
  • Onions.
  • Papaya*
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Asparagus.
  • Honeydew melon.

Which fruits and vegetables have the least pesticides? ›

Avocados had the lowest levels of pesticides among the 46 foods tested, followed by sweet corn, pineapple, onions and papaya.

Are bananas high in pesticides? ›

Peeled bananas are generally tainted with very few pesticide residues, according to USDA analyses, probably because those tested are peeled first. In 2012 USDA scientists found just four fungicides on bananas they analyzed, compared to 10 on plums (USDA 2012b).

Does peeling apples remove pesticides? ›

Holding an apple under running water for a few seconds isn't enough to get rid of the pesticides on its skin, new research says. Your best bet is to soak your fruit in a baking soda solution — for 12 to 15 minutes. And if you're really concerned, of course, you can always peel your apples.

Can you wash pesticides off fruit? ›

Wash all your fruits and vegetables. According to the CSE, washing them with 2% of salt water will remove most of the contact pesticide residues that normally appear on the surface of the vegetables and fruits. Almost 75 to 80 percent of pesticide residues are removed by cold water washing.

What fruit has the highest amount of pesticides? ›

The Dirty Dozen: Most Heavily Sprayed Foods
  • Peaches. Sprayed with multiple varieties of pesticides. ...
  • Apples. Scrubbing and peeling can't get all the pesticides off. ...
  • Strawberries. One EWG report found 36 types of pesticides on strawberries. ...
  • Grapes (especially imported varieties) ...
  • Cherries. ...
  • Nectarines. ...
  • Pears. ...
  • Red Raspberries.

Are carrots high in pesticides? ›

Carrots, for example, are well known for their ability to absorb pesticide residues from soils. One study found that concentrations of pesticides in carrots could be as high as 80% of the concentration in the soil, with up to 50% of that concentration contained in the pulp (rather than the peel) of the carrot.

Are cucumbers on the Dirty 15 list? ›

Only about 7% of the strawberries sampled, though, had pesticide levels above what is considered allowable under U.S. law. After strawberries, the “dirty dozen,” in order, are apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

Are blueberries high in pesticides? ›

Blueberries are an additional berry type that contain a high level of pesticides. The thin skin allows the chemicals to enter the fruit's flesh. Buying blueberries organic is the safest option. Conventional blueberries contain 52 pesticide chemicals.

Which nuts have the most pesticides? ›

Select Nuts and Grains

From the “nut” category, Cashews, Pistachios, and Peanuts are a few that have been flagged as having higher pesticide loads than others. Peanuts, in particular, are grown underground and may have a higher exposure to both pesticides and mold growth.

Does peeling potatoes remove pesticides? ›

Peeling was necessary to remove the greatest amount of pesticides in the skin. Washing with water and/or other solutions as well as the cooking process (blanching and frying) helped to eliminate most of the pesticide residues from the potato tubers.

Are potatoes high in pesticides? ›

1) Potatoes

Most conventionally-grown have one of the highest pesticide contents among fruits and veggies. The USDA discovered 81 percent of potatoes tested in 2006 contained pesticides even after being washed and peeled.

What is the most heavily sprayed crop? ›

Strawberries, Raspberries and Cherries Strawberries are the crop that is most heavily dosed with pesticides in America. On average, 300 pounds of pesticides are applied to every acre of strawberries (compared to an average of 25 pounds per acre for other foods).

Is broccoli high in pesticides? ›

Testing of produce sold in the US shows that the Clean Fifteen — including avocado, cabbage, onion, mango, kiwi and broccoli — often contain little or no detectable pesticide residues. Additionally, these residues are well within EPA limits.

Does pasta have pesticides? ›

10. Pasta, Bread and Wheat in General. For all those Italian-food fans out there, addicted to pizza, bread and pasta beware: seven spaghetti brands – out of 15 tested – have been found to contain high levels of pesticides, through a survey carried out by the Swiss Network RTS and the magazine 'Bon à Savoir.

Do eggs have pesticides? ›

Contaminants: There's very little research on contaminants in eggs. The USDA's 2011 National Residue Program tested 497 egg samples and found no residues of pesticides, contaminants or veterinary drugs, including antibiotics.

Does washing apples with soap remove pesticides? ›

The FDA does not recommend washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash. They have not been proven to be any more effective than water alone. No washing method is 100% effective for removing all pesticide residues.

How do you wash pesticides off apples? ›

Of the three methods, the study concluded that, actually, a baking soda bath was the most effective for extensive removal of both pesticides. The NaHCO3 solution was able to completely remove all thiabendazole and phosmet residue from the surface of the apple in 12 and 15 minutes respectively.

Does baking soda clean pesticides from fruit? ›

Baking soda removes up to 96% of pesticides from fruit and vegetables. When mixed with water and gently rubbed on apple skins, the solution eliminates nearly all the reside left by two commonly-applied pesticides within 15 minutes.

Does apple cider vinegar remove pesticides? ›

In a study published in Food Control, vegetables were soaked in vinegar for 20 minutes and also in a salt and water solution to remove chlorpyrifos, DDT, cypermethrin and chlorothalonil pesticides. Both methods worked well. The vinegar effectively removed pesticides, but left a residue that affected taste.

Does vinegar clean pesticides off fruit? ›

Soak it in Vinegar

Vinegar is another way to remove residues from fruits and vegetables. Some suggest that a solution of 4-parts water to 1-part vinegar for about 20 minutes should do the trick, while others suggest full-strength vinegar is needed to thoroughly remove pesticides.

Does soaking strawberries in vinegar remove pesticides? ›

The most effective way to clean pesticide residue off of strawberries is to submerge them in a vinegar bath. In a bowl, mix four parts water with one part white vinegar, then let the strawberries soak in the bowl for 20 minutes. Rinse the strawberries thoroughly with fresh cold water to clean off the vinegar.

Is coffee full of pesticides? ›

First, conventional coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is steeped in synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides – a real mouthful with a bad taste. Not only does the environment suffer from this overload, but so do the people who live in it.

Are grapes full of pesticides? ›

Ninety nine percent of grapes contained pesticides. On average seven pesticides were detected per sample. One third of grapes were classified as 'Not Recommended' for consumers owing to critical levels of pesticide contamination.

Are strawberries full of pesticides? ›

Strawberries have topped the list as the most pesticide-laden fruit for the past six years. EWG testing revealed that 90% of strawberries contained at least one pesticide, and 30% of the crop had traces of 10 or more different toxins.

What are 3 foods you should always buy organic? ›

In addition to those, EWG recommends you always buy organic for the following 10, as well: apples, celery, peaches, strawberries, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, domestic blueberries, potatoes and green beans. You can also check out the EWG's full list and rankings for both the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean 15."

Are lemons high in pesticides? ›

For example, a recent study that sampled citrus from various sites in Europe found pesticide residues on 95% of the peel samples. Another study last year testing citrus fruits in Sicily found 95% had pesticide residues. Recent research has also found high levels of residues on Mexican citrus.

How do you remove pesticides from vegetables? ›

Washing with 2% of salt water will remove most of the contact pesticide residues that normally appear on the surface of the vegetables and fruits. About 75-80% of pesticide reduces are removed by cold water washing.

Are carrots clean or dirty? ›

The Dirty Dozen, The Clean Fifteen and Everything In Between
1. Apples26. Green Onions
18. Green Beans43. Asparagus
19. Plums (imported)44. Sweet Peas (frozen)
20. Blueberries (imported)45. Cabbage
21. Carrots46. Avocado
20 more rows
Apr 17, 2013

Are bananas on the clean 15 list? ›

Bananas are a good example—while they didn't make the Clean 15, they are close.

Are potatoes on the clean 15? ›

This year, it is comprised of apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes.

Does rinsing blueberries remove pesticides? ›

Drain the blueberries in a colander and rinse them under cool running water for at least 30 seconds while using the friction of your fingertips to clear away any pesticide residue.

Do you need to rinse blueberries? ›

(Because blueberries are so delicate, running them under the water may cause breakage) Swish the berries around and drip dry! REMEMBER- Make sure to rinse berries 'as you go'… rinsing them all at once can cause them to absorb the water and become mushy too soon!

Do banana peels have pesticides? ›

Most banana peels contain some pesticide residue. Pesticides are chemicals farmers and growers use to kill insects and other pests. However, the United States Department of Agriculture sets pesticide limits for safety and most fruits do not exceed these limits.

Does soaking nuts remove pesticides? ›

If the nuts are not organic, they are sprayed with pesticides and fumigated with chemicals. Soaking them helps reduce and eliminate pesticide residue.

Do shells protect nuts from pesticides? ›

Walnuts have a very hard outer shell that offers protection from pesticides and other chemicals used on conventionally grown varieties. Conventionally grown walnuts have shown little pesticide residue on the shelled nut, according to the food advocacy organization FoodPrint.

Are almonds full of pesticides? ›

Even if the conventional almonds are PPO-free, they are allowed to be sprayed with other super-toxic chemicals, such as glyphosate — the primary ingredient in Monsanto's RoundUp. And according to EPA documents from October 5th, 2015, 85% of almonds are treated with glyphosate.

Are cucumbers high in pesticides? ›

Apples, on the other hand, are on the “Dirty Dozen,” meaning they're high in pesticides, ranking fourth most contaminated after strawberries, spinach and nectarines. Cucumbers barely escaped the “Dirty Dozen,” ranking 13th from the top for pesticide residues.

How do you wash pesticides off potatoes? ›

Soaking potatoes in 5% Acetic Acid Solution (vinegar) removed up to 100% of the pesticides. Diluted vinegar tested as being only marginally better than tap water for removing pesticide residues. Soak 10-20 minutes in SALT WATER.

Should I eat skin of apples? ›

Peels are packed with nutrients

In fact, a raw apple with skin contains up to 332% more vitamin K, 142% more vitamin A, 115% more vitamin C, 20% more calcium, and up to 19% more potassium than a peeled apple ( 1 , 2 ).

What vegetable is the most toxic? ›

Here's Why. Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes its Dirty Dozen list, which ranks the 12 pieces of produce that contain the highest amounts of pesticide residues.

Does Rice have pesticides? ›

For example, conventional rice production uses over 40 different pesticides to control weeds and insects—pesticides that contain such toxic chemicals as piperonyl butoxide , malathion , and carbaryl .

What fruits and vegetables do not need to be organic? ›

Foods You Don't Need to Buy Organic
  • #1: Onions. Onions have some of the lowest amount of pesticide residue out of all the fruits and vegetables in your local grocery store. ...
  • #2: Sweet Corn. ...
  • #3: Avocados. ...
  • #4: Asparagus. ...
  • #5: Pineapples. ...
  • #6: Mangos. ...
  • #7: Kiwis. ...
  • #8: Papayas.
Feb 4, 2019

What fruit has the most pesticides? ›

The Dirty Dozen: Most Heavily Sprayed Foods
  • Peaches. Sprayed with multiple varieties of pesticides. ...
  • Apples. Scrubbing and peeling can't get all the pesticides off. ...
  • Strawberries. One EWG report found 36 types of pesticides on strawberries. ...
  • Grapes (especially imported varieties) ...
  • Cherries. ...
  • Nectarines. ...
  • Pears. ...
  • Red Raspberries.

What are the five most pesticide ridden fruits? ›

The 12 Most Pesticide-Contaminated Fruits and Vegetables Of 2015
  1. Apples. 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  2. Peaches. 98 percent of peaches tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  3. Nectarines. ...
  4. Strawberries. ...
  5. Grapes. ...
  6. Celery. ...
  7. Spinach. ...
  8. Sweet bell peppers.
Jun 21, 2017

Which fruit has the most pesticides in India? ›

#1. Apples - more than 95% produce tested pesticide positive and 92% with more than two pesticides. Apples are the most favored and believed healthy fruit in Indian markets.

Which vegetables have most pesticides in India? ›

  • 1 Cabbage. The variety most susceptible is the Pride of India variety, sold largely in markets in north India. ...
  • 2 Cauliflower. Another popular vegetable, one which some people eat almost every day. ...
  • 3 Tomato. This common, popular vegetable is often eaten raw. ...
  • 4 Brinjal. ...
  • 5 Greens. ...
  • 6 Potato. ...
  • 7 Grapes. ...
  • 8 Mangoes.
Nov 2, 2010

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