The Dirty Dozen

Each year the Environmental working group in America produces an annual list of a dozen fruit and vegetables that are highest in pesticide residue.  It is estimated that by avoiding the 'dirty dozen' you can reduce your exposure to pesticides by up to 80%. You can either choose organic for these products, or swap to a 'cleaner' alternative. Over the next few days I will list the dirty dozen, taken from the article by Dan Shapley at


1. Apples


Topping the 2011 dirty dozen list is a tree fruit that always makes the list: Apples. (Apples ranked No. 2 in 2009 and No. 4 in 2010.) more than 40 different pesticides have been detected on apples, because fungus and insect threats prompt farmers to spray various chemicals on their orchards. Not surprisingly, pesticide residue is also found in apple juice and apple sauce, making all apple products smart foods to buy organic.

Some recommend peeling apples to reduce exposure to pesticide residue, but be aware that you're peeling away many of the fruit's most beneficial nutrients when you do so!

Can't find organic apples? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas and tangerines.

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