More and more Americans are demanding food free of synthetic chemicals. But EWG's analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues.
The USDA found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples it analyzed. The pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.
But there are stark differences in the number and amount of pesticides on various types of produce. EWG's annual Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ lists the Dirty Dozen™ fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues, and the Clean Fifteen™, for which few, if any, residues were detected.
When buying organic produce is not an option, use the Shopper's Guide to choose foods lower in pesticide residues. With the Shopper's Guide, you can have the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while limiting your exposure to pesticides.