Many of us can't afford to buy all organic produce, yet the pesticides lurking in our food can be scary. To keep us informed, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) samples the 49 most common fruits and vegetables for pesticides, ranking them from worst to best based on pesticide contamination. Nearly all of the samples are taken after the produce has been rinsed or peeled (as you would eat it).
The most recent study, released this spring (foodnews.org), provided some startling results. When you eat "the dirty dozen" you will be exposed to about 10 pesticides per day. Choose fresh produce from the "clean 15" and you will be exposed to less than 2 pesticides per day.
"dirty dozen" (buy organic to avoid pesticides)
sweet bell peppers
"clean 15" (not necessary to buy organic)
sweet corn (frozen)
mango (subtropical and tropical)
sweet peas (frozen)
kiwi fruit (subtropical and tropical)
on the "dirty dozen" last year, but were "bumped"