Once a year the Environmental Working Group sets out to test and analyze multiple samples of fruits and vegetables, to see exactly how much pesticide contamination we’re consuming. The group analyzed more then 38,800 nonorganic samples taken by the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration. They discovered that pesticides are far too prevalent in our modern produce departments.
Simple enough right, go out and purchase only organic produce. This would be great if the price tag on most organic items were not virtually impossible for the average income. This information will hopefully help you to decide what is most important to purchase organic, and where you can save a few dollars by sticking with conventional. It will also guide you in the types of things to eat when you’re in restaurants and can’t guarantee that they are using organic foods. Pay attention to what you and your family use most as far as produce, and make your purchase decisions from there.
When it comes to picking out produce, the ones that seem to have the greatest amounts of pesticides on them are the following:
  • Strawberries (One sampling of strawberries had a total of 20 different pesticides! Yuck!!)
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Peaches                                                          
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
  • Nectarines
  • Spinach (Samplings of spinach had 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by overall weight.) 
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet bell peppers    
And now, the good news! These items you can not worry so much about the organic label as they do not absorb much in the way of pesticides. Enjoy saving your money on these:
  • Avocados
  • Bananas 
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Honeydew
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower

Why are pesticides so bad? Why do we care? 

Multiple studies have shown negative side effects on the human body after consuming products sprayed with pesticides. In terms of fertility its been shown women who ate 3 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day that were high on the pesticide list were 26% less likely to have successful pregnancy. A child’s exposure to such chemicals, can lead to negative side effects at birth and beyond in terms of important things like growing and learning.
Positive correlations between pesticide use have been linked to cancer, developmental issues, skin, eye and lung issues, neurological diseases and many types of hormone disruption.
Do your best to stick to clean produce and invest in organic when consuming the “dirty dozen!”