The 'Dirty Dozen:' Most Contaminated Fruits, Veggies

But there's better news with the 'Clean 15'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2023 9:00 AM CDT
The Most, Least Contaminated Fruits and Veggies
In this 2017 file photo, a girl holds a handful of wild blueberries picked near Sherman, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Mama (and the US government) always said to eat your fruits and veggies, but nowhere in that conventional wisdom was there anything about getting your daily allotment of pesticides. Yet, as CNN reports, that's exactly what some of us are inadvertently doing. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group rounds up a list of the "Dirty Dozen" most contaminated nonorganic fruits and veggies, according to the group's testing after washing the produce in a way normal Americans might. And sorry, blueberry lovers: Your blue gold has found its way onto the 2023 list. In order of most to least contaminated:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard greens, mustard greens
  4. Peaches
  5. Pears
  6. Nectarines
  7. Apples
  8. Grapes
  9. Bell and hot peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Blueberries
  12. Green beans

And, as a bit of a palate-cleanser, the group lists its "Clean 15" fruits and vegetables. In order of least to most contaminated:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Mangoes
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Watermelon
  15. Carrots
(Just one in 10 Americans are eating their veggies.)

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