The Top Five Pesticide-Soaked Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid at All Costs

dirty dozen pesticide crops


About one billion pounds of conventional, synthetic pesticides are used each year in the United States to control weeds, insects, and other pests.

This number began rising in the mid-1990s, with the advent of genetically modified foods, which are engineered in a lab to withstand large sprayings of Roundup herbicides. Other GMO crops such as Bt corn produce pesticides within the plant itself.

These crops are typically used to make processed food products like corn chips, including America’s favorite brand which was recently busted for misleading “natural” labels.

The overuse of pesticides is a real problem in the United States, and it shows no signs of slowing.
In order to educate consumers on the pitfalls of pesticide use, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases lists each year warning consumers about the dangers of pesticides in certain crops.

Based on the Most Recent List, the Top Five Pesticide-Soaked Crops to Avoid are as Follows: 


5. Apples- 

Apples are seen as the most wholesome food you could ever eat. Rich in pectin, a fiber that binds to and removes toxins from the body, and other key nutrients, apples are a nutritional powerhouse.

But conventional U.S. apples have been banned in Europe due to pesticides that are not allowed overseas.

4. Nectarines- 

More than 90 percent of nectarine samples also tested positive for two or more pesticides on the latest EWG list.

Nectarines have soft skin which means it is difficult to fully wash off pesticide residues, even if you decide to use the number one most effective method.



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3. Kale, Collard and Mustard Greens- 

One sample of kale, collard and mustard greens had as much as 21 pesticide residues.

You’re better off buying these otherwise healthy cruciferous vegetables organic whenever possible, as it won’t cost a whole lot extra and it will make a big difference for your overall health.

2. Spinach- 

More than 90 percent of spinach also tested positive for two or more pesticide residues on this year’s list.

In recent years, spinach tested to have the most pesticide residue by weight of any produce item, and it may be especially harmful to children if consumed too often.

1. Strawberries- 

These soft-skin fruits finished number one for dirtiest produce item in the United States this year.

Previous tests on strawberries have found up to 54 different pesticide residues.

No wonder former strawberry farmer Jim Cochrane decided to switch to organic after he was poisoned by chemicals on his own strawberry farm.

Conventional strawberries may be cheap and delicious, but they exact a price in terms of our health, the health of farmers, and the health of our soil and environment.


The Rest of the Top Ten List is as Follows

6. Grapes-

Grapes are one of the healthiest foods for the lymphatic system. But if you consume non-organic grapes regularly, the pesticides within could take a serious toll. More than 90 percent of non-organic grape samples tested positive for two or more pesticides this year.

7. Bell and hot peppers- 

Peppers have been on the EWG’s list for years, including in recent years when two types of hot peppers were discovered to be “extraordinarily toxic.”

Recent research has shown that non-organic hot peppers could contain “trace levels of highly hazardous pesticides” that are highly toxic to the human body, according to recent research.

With this in mind, organic hot peppers are worth the extra money.



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8. Cherries- 

More than 90 percent of cherry samples tested positive for two or more synthetic pesticides.

9. Peaches- 

A gourmet fruit sold at a premium price, peaches also have soft skin and were detected to carry a relatively toxic load of synthetic pesticides.

The more you consume pesticide-laced fruits and vegetables like these, the more likely you will find pesticide residues in your blood.

10. Pears- 

With their soft skin, pears are one of the most vulnerable crops to pesticide residues soaking into them. They came in number ten on this year’s list in large part because of the sheer number of pesticides found inside the crop.

If you do eat non-organic pears, you may want to peel off the skin, as many of the pesticides are found there, and be sure to consume plenty of organic, detoxifying herbs and foods to give your body the support it needs.


Thanks for reading! To view the full list, check out the EWG’s website here


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About Nick Meyer

Nick Meyer is a journalist who's been published in the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Morning News and several other outlets. He founded AltHealthWORKS in 2012 to showcase extraordinary stories of healing and the power of organic living, stories the mainstream media always seemed to miss. Check out Nick's Amazon best-seller 'Dirt Cheap Organic: 101 Tips For Going Organic on a Budget' by clicking here, as well as its sequel Dirt Cheap Weight Loss.