Air & Water
Apples Top Dirty Dozen List For Fifth Year In A Row

Apples Top Dirty Dozen List For Fifth Year In A Row

January 9, 2023

Originally published on EWG

Apples, peaches, and nectarines topped EWG’s 2023 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in ProduceTM list of the dirtiest, or most pesticide-contaminated, fruits and vegetables, a new analysis of U.S. government data found. Apples turned up with the highest number of pesticides for the fifth year in a row, while peaches and nectarines moved up to the second and third spots.

Nearly two-thirds of produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and analyzed by EWG for the 2023 Shopper’s Guide contained pesticide residues – a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals, EWG reported.  EWG said that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetables samples examined in 2023.

“The bottom line is people do not want to eat pesticides with their fruits and vegetables,” said Ken Cook, EWG’s president and cofounder. “That’s why we will continue telling shoppers about agricultural chemicals that turn up on their produce, and we hope we will inform, and ultimately, empower them to eat cleaner.”

Published today, EWG’s Shopper’s Guide, ranked 48 different fruits and vegetables by the total number of pesticides found on them. The guide is based on testing by the USDA and the federal Food and Drug Administration.  The information EWG provides is valuable for consumers because pesticides have been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer and lower IQ in children.

The Shopper’s Guide, updated every year since 2004, is broken down into two easy-to-use lists, the Dirty DozenTMand the Clean FifteenTM. The Dirty Dozen list includes the top 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticide residues, while the Clean 15 list has the 15 cleanest, or least contaminated produce. Apples tend to have the most pesticides because of the chemicals applied to the crop before and after harvest to preserve them longer, the analysts said.

Other produce items on the 2023 Dirty DozenTMlist are strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes.

Read the full story here.