2012 Dirty Dozen: the Dirtiest Foods This Year

By Will Llamas and the TLS Team

Every year the Environmental Working Group’s comes out with a “Dirty Dozen” report. The list reports the year’s dirtiest produce, or the foods with the most pesticide residue.

This year’s top 5 are:

1. Apples
Courtesy of fatburningfurnace.com

2. Celery


Courtesy of http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

3. Sweet bell peppers

Courtesy  of  blog.wellspring.ca

4. Peaches


5. Strawberries


On the flip side, the top 5 cleanest foods with the least pesticide residue are:
1. Onions
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Cabbage

The health effects of pesticides have not been widely studied but according to Chensheng Lu, an associate professor of environmental exposure biology at the Harvard School of Public Health, “the toxins appear to be connected to a prevalence of diseases, including cancer. And some studies suggest pesticide intake, especially in the prenatal stage, can cause neurological developmental problems in infants.”

The alternative to eating foods grown with pesticides is going organic. Organic food is grown naturally and pesticide-free, but often carries a higher price tag. If you want to eat safely without spending a fortune, it is recommended that you go organic for just the riskiest foods. For example, try buying organic apples, while purchasing regular onions is most likely fine.

The data was collected from food, prepared as you would eat them, which includes peeling and washing in some cases. Needless to say, this shouldn’t deter you from buying these foods, but be wary that you might need to scrub a little longer for the dirty dozen.