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Fruits and vegetables

Produce and pesticides: what is clean and what is dirty?

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The Environmental Working Group has released its annual report on fresh produce and pesticides, compiling its list of "dirtiest" to "cleanest" fruits and vegetables.

"EWG's Shopper's Guide helps people find conventional fruits and vegetables with low concentrations of pesticide residues," said Sonya Lunder, an analyst and the principle author of the report. "If a particular item is likely to be high in pesticides, people can go for organic."

At the top of the list of dirtiest produce are apples, followed by strawberries and grapes. That means these tested highest for pesticide contamination.

Avocados, corn, and pineapples topped the list of cleanest produce; i.e. with the least amount of pesticide reside.

The EWG recommends that consumers buy organic versions of the produce listed on its Dirty Dozen list, while conventional fruits and veggies from the Clean Fifteen list are fine.

The EWG stresses that the benefit of eating more fruits and vegetables, organic or not, outweighs the risks posed by pesticide contamination.


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