Banner
    2012 Dirty Dozen - The 12 Most Contaminated Foods
    By Hank Campbell | June 19th 2012 12:14 PM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

    View Hank's Profile
    The Environmental Working Group's annual "Dirty Dozen" report for 2012 has named the fruits and vegetables ranking highest in pesticide residue. Don't get all excited about shopping at Whole Foods to escape the problem, organic food has all kinds of pesticides, they are just 'natural', like strychnine, and the Environmental Working Group did not run any tests of their own, they did a review of government tests ("ranks pesticide contamination for 45 popular fruits and vegetables based on an analysis of more than 60,700 samples taken from 2000 to 2010 by the USDA and the federal Food and Drug Administration.") and then wrote a summary.

    The foods with the most pesticides (so wash them thoroughly, obviously, though that seems like common sense since the 18th century) were found to be:

    1. Apples
    2. Celery
    3. Sweet bell peppers
    4. Peaches
    5. Strawberries
    6. Imported nectarines

     7. Grapes
    8. Spinach
    9. Lettuce
    10. Cucumbers
    11. Domestic blueberries
    12. Potatoes

    And they created a super dirty list, which has green beans and kale/collard greens.


    On the 'good' list they include what you would expect - namely, foods that are irrelevant in organic food anyway, like pineapples, where nothing can get through the shell. You bite right into an apple, you don't bite into a pineapple or an ear of corn off the stalk. 98 percent of conventional apples had pesticides, they highlight, which sounds telling - except no organic apples were analyzed so highlighting 'conventional' is a little dishonest.

    Celery had 57 different pesticides while the bell peppers had 15 on one pepper they tested.

    Here are 15 foods you can buy without fear - and save yourself money by not engaging in the intellectual placebo of buying organic, since it makes no difference:
    1. Onions
    2. Avocado
    3. Sweet corn
    4. Pineapple
    5. Mangos
    6. Sweet peas
    7. Asparagus
    8. Kiwi
    9. Cabbage
    10. Eggplant
    11. Cantaloupe
    12. Watermelon
    13. Grapefruit
    14. Sweet potato
    15. Honeydew melon
    One thing they noted that should be a concern whether you buy into organic marketing or not - baby food. No matter if the pesticide is organic or synthetic it is probably not good.

    In 2010, the USDA began to test for pesticide residues on products used in baby food and tested about 190 samples each of green beans, pears and sweet potatoes. Green beans used as baby food contained five pesticides. The organophosphate methamidiphos was found on 9.4 percent of samples and the organophosphate acephate, on 7.8 percent of samples.