Apples Top ‘Dirty Dozen’ List

“The Dirty Dozen,” details what fruits and vegetables one consumer group believes are the most contaminated with pesticides. This year, apples took the top slot.

According to My Fox Atlanta, The Environmental Working Group says when it comes to pesticides on apples and other produce, what you don’t see very possibly could be impacting your health.

The Environmental Working Group says apples deserve their top spot on the “Dirty Dozen,” as 98 percent of the apples studied in the U.S. Department of Agriculture had pesticides on them.

Dr. Caroline Abruzese, a personal healthcare physician, says the tests found multiple chemicals on the apples. In fact she believes about 40 to 60 different pesticides are found on fruits and vegetables.

Several other fruits and veggies top the list of high pesticide count including celery, strawberries, peaches, and spinach. Dr. Abruzese believes that washing the food may help a little bit, but mainly just removes dirt. In fact, the produce tested in the study had already been washed off and still tested positive for pesticides. Therefore, Dr. Abruzese believes washing does not remove residue pesticides.

Other crops gracing the “Dirty Dozen,” list this year include imported nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, domestic blueberries, lettuce and kale, as well as collard greens.

Chances are many of your favorite fruits and veggies are on the list. Dr. Abruzese recommends buying organically grown produce to avoid in taking harmful pesticides. If going organic is too expensive she recommends checking out the “clean list” and sticking to it.

Low-chemical choices on the clean list include: onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocados, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, and eggplant. The “clean list” does not completely eliminate pesticides however the frequency of their presence is dynamically lower.

Dr. Abruzese says it’s important not to swear off fruits and veggies even if they have pesticides, as the pros of eating fruits and vegetables definitely outweighs the cons of pesticide intake. However, she encourages shoppers to be smart.