Those of us concerned about the toxicity of our foods—and, frankly, who isn't these days?—might want to review the below guidelines from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). (I found this on Martha Stewart's website.)
- The EWG, a nonprofit environmental research organization, calls the 12 fruits and vegetables that carry the most pesticide residue "the dirty dozen." These include (in order of most residue to least): peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrots, and pears. The point is that if you have limited funds to spend on more-expensive organic produce, these are items to target.
- The EWG's "clean 15," the fruits and vegetables with the least pesticide residue, are (in order of least residue to most): onions, avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, mangoes, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwifruits, cabbages, eggplants, papayas, watermelons, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Grapefruit is number 16. Oranges and tangerines, staples of midwinter, fall midway on the list of the 47 fruits and vegetables tested. Similarly, if you have to buy conventional produce, these are the safest choices.