Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), names the "clean 15" foods that have the lowest pesticide load and are the safest conventionally grown crops to consume in 2016 from the standpoint of pesticide contamination:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Honeydew melon
The EWG also names its "dirty dozen" list of the fruits and vegetables that rank highest in pesticide residues, making them the most important to buy organic versions — or to grow them organically yourself.
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
For both lists, the EWG analyzed test results of more than 35,200 samples of fruits and vegetables taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"Don't limit your intake of fresh produce because you can't afford organic," says Olga Hays, a wellness promotion specialist for Sharp Best Health, an internal employee wellness program at Sharp.
"Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables in general is the point," she says. "Buy locally grown, in-season fruits and vegetables when possible, and always properly wash your produce: it will go a long way toward removing pesticide residues, dirt and bacteria from your fruits and vegetables."