by Marion Nestle
Mar 11 2009

EWG’s guide to pesticides on produce

The Environmental Working Group has just issued its guide to coping with pesticides on fresh fruits and vegetables.  It’s handy shopping card identifies the Dirty Dozen (highest in pesticides) and the Clean Fifteen (lowest).  Organics, it says, are still the best choices!

And here’s how they did the study.

  • Do you know of any info on bananas? I’ve read that since they are always peeled, organic is not as important. However, I’ve read contradicting information that since their skins are highly porous, organic is very important. There is quite the price difference at my local store.
    Thank you!

  • Foodaroo

    Pesticide is something to be concern about but not something to be over concern about. I say this because I think people pay too much attention to the smaller details, not enough to the bigger details.

    While pesticide is something we can minimize, natural occurring radioactive is something we cannot. It is in our fruits and vegetables, and organics are NOT exempt from this. Bananas, for instance, contain natural occurring radioactive. Eating 600 bananas is the equivalent in getting one chest x-ray or about 6 mrem of radioactivity. And if you know anything about chest x-rays, they are especially hazardous to the fetuses.

    Now if you compare 6 mrem in an x-ray to 170 mrem in a mammography, which is supposed to save women’s lives, you have to wonder whether or not pesticides are that toxic when a mammography emits 28.33 times more in radiation! And the more radiation exposure, the higher the chances are in getting cancer. That is a fact from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    It’s no wonder that many medical doctors don’t care whether or not their produce contain pesticides. Doesn’t this dawn on anyone that the one of the brightest bunches don’t demand for organics?

    If you live or work near near a hospital, a radioactive plant, a lab at an university, big pharma, etc., , you are exposed to a radiation.

  • Rachelle

    This is a useful list to help budget-conscious shoppers decide which fresh produce to buy organic. Is there a similar list that considers all foods, not just produce? If a person had to choose between spending on organic meats and dairy or organic produce, what’s the healthiest option?