Some fruits and vegetables are more likely to be contaminated with residues of harmful pesticides. The American non-profit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts together each year the so-called “dirty dozen” list, which identifies the fruits and vegetables that tend to have the highest pesticide residues when they are farmed using conventional practices.
Given the association between exposure to toxic chemicals in pesticides and higher risk for a range of diseases, buying organic fruits and vegetables wholesale from companies such as High Quality Organics is recommended. This also helps save on the individual prices of produce. Here are the pesticide residue content of the following fruits and vegetables:
Strawberry topped the latest list of fruits and vegetables that are most contaminated with pesticides. The EWG said that one-third of strawberry samples farmed using conventional farming methods contained at least 10 pesticides.
Of the tested samples of conventional spinach, 97 percent contained residues of pesticides such as permethrin. Excessive exposure to permethrin can cause shortness of breath, nausea, headache and muscle weakness.
Ninety-four percent of conventional nectarine samples have at least two pesticides.
Eighty percent of conventional apple samples were found tainted with diphenylamine insecticide, which is banned in Europe.
Nearly 96 percent of conventional grape samples were found to have pesticide residues. Samples contain, on average, five different pesticide residues.
A whopping 99 percent of peach samples farmed using traditional methods had pesticide residues.
Other Produce with High Amounts of Pesticide Residue
Cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and sweet bell peppers are also included in the list of this year’s dirty dozen.
Although pesticides help keep damaging molds and bugs away from crops, they are not suitable to eat. The exact effect of pesticides may depend on the amount you consume, but the World Health Organization itself warned about the dangers of using certain pesticides particularly on fetuses and young children. For these fruits and vegetables with a high amount of pesticides, consider buying them organically.