Contaminated Produce - The List You Must Read!

Contaminated Produce.

A study by the Environmental Working Group analyzed results of nearly 51,000 tests for pesticides on fruits and vegetables conducted by the USDA and the FDA between 2000 and 2005. Contamination levels were measured in six different ways and crops were ranked on a composite score from all categories. Below are the foods listed by overall rank, WORST to BEST, along with the results of two of the six criteria studied.*


Rank / Produce / Percentage of samples tested with detectable pesticides / Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample.


1 Peaches/96.6%/9
2 Apples/93.6%/9
3 Sweet Bell Peppers/81.5%/11
4 Celery/94.1%/9
5 Nectarines/97.3%/7
6 Strawberries/92.3%/8
7 Cherries /91.4% /7
8 Lettuce /68.2% /9
9 Grapes, imported /84.2% /8
10 Pears /86.2% /6
11 Spinach /70.0% /6
12 Potatoes /81.0% /4
13 Carrots /81.7% /6
14 Green Beans /67.6% /6
15 Hot Peppers /55.0% /6
16 Cucumbers /72.5% /6
17 Raspberries /47.9% /6
18 Plums /74.0% /4
19 Oranges /85.1% /4
20 Grapes, domestic /60.5% /7
21 Cauliflower /84.6% /5
22 Tangerines /66.7% /3
23 Mushrooms /60.2% /5
24 Cantaloupe /53.3% /4
25 Lemons /55.6% /5
26 Honeydew Melon /59.2% /4
27 Grapefruit /62.9% /4
28 Winter Squash /41.3% /5
29 Tomatoes /46.9% /5
30 Sweet Potatoes /58.4% /3
31 Watermelons /38.5% /4
32 Blueberries /27.5% /4
33 Papaya /23.5% /4
34 Eggplant /23.4% /4
35 Broccoli /28.1% /3
36 Cabbage /17.9% /3
37 Bananas /41.7% /2
38 Kiwi /15.3% /3
39 Asparagus /6.7% /2
40 Sweet Peas, Frozen /22.9% /2
41 Mangoes /7.1% /2
42 Pineapples /7.7% /2
43 Sweet Corn, Frozen /3.8% /1
44 Avocados /1.4% /1
45 Onions /0.2% /1

NOTE: Data and analysis considers how produce is typically washed and prepared before consumption.
*The other four criteria not listed include: percentage of samples with two or more pesticides, average number of pesticides found, average amount of all pesticides found (in parts per million), and number of pesticides found in the commodity in total. Source: Environmental Working Group

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