Sometimes we can’t buy everything organic. Sometimes we can’t buy anything organic, budget limiting! If your wallet’s feeling the pinch lately but you still want to avoid eating produce that’s contaminated with pesticides, you may be interested in reading the latest from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
The EWG has just released its 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce on their website, and it’s a great resource for anyone who’s interested in organic foods. Using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the lists rank the top 49 fruits and vegetables that show signs of pesticide residue (with apples ranking worst at #1, and onions with the least residue at #49).
These lists can be a really important tool for home cooks interested in organic foods but still on a budget. When you’ve got to prioritize what you can buy organic and what has to stay conventional (i.e., not organic), you can at least make an effort to splurge a bit more on the foods at the top of the list.
The top three worst on the EWG’s 2012 list were apples, celery, and bell peppers (according to research, 98% of conventional apples tested contained residues of pesticides). The bottom three not-so-bad foods: pineapples, sweet corn, and onions. Check out the full list here.
If you want to download the PDF of the full list to your computer—or better yet, get the app for your smart phone—just check out the EWG’s page for staying in touch here. And if you’d like to read some pretty interesting statistics on the details of just what kind of pesticides were found on specific fruits and vegetables—did you know that there were some 64 different chemicals found on grapes?—you can visit the EWG’s Press Release page.
Photo courtesy of EWG