6/19/2012 9:49 PM
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) apples contain more pesticide residue than any other fruit or vegetable. Celery and sweet bell peppers also made the group’s “Dirty Dozen” list.
"Our advice to consumers is to choose the organic version of the fruits and vegetables on the dirty dozen list," Johanna Congleton, PhD, MSPH, an EWG senior scientist, told WebMD.
In addition to apples, celery, and sweet bell peppers, other fruits and vegetables on the dirty dozen list include peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, domestic blueberries, and potatoes.
According to EWG, pesticide exposure may cause hormone disruption, cancer, brain toxicity, and skin, eye, and lung irritation.
However, don’t despair! Not all of America’s fruits and vegetables are tainted by harmful pesticides. EWG also released a “Clean 15,” list, a list of foods that were found to have the lowest rates of pesticide contamination. The Clean 15 include onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, kiwi, domestic cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, and mushrooms.
Check out EWG.org for more information.