There are many reasons why you should eat organic and more and more people are becoming aware of the issues surrounding conventional food production. One of the major reason people choose to buy organic fruits and vegetables is to reduce intake of pesticides normally found in conventional foods.

Below is the "BLACK" list of fruits and vegetables that contains the highest levels of pesticide.

  • Nectarines (over 97% contain pesticides)
  • Celery (over 94% contain pesticides)
  • Pears (over 94% contain pesticides)
  • Peaches (over 93% contain pesticides)
  • Apples (over 90% contain pesticides)
  • Cherries (over 90% contain pesticides)
  • Strawberries (over 89% contain pesticides)
  • Imported Grapes (over 85% contain pesticides)
  • Spinach (over 83% contain pesticides)
  • Potatoes (over 79% contain pesticides)
  • Bell Peppers (over 67% contain pesticides)
  • Red Raspberries (over 58% contain pesticides)
Below are some more interesting facts about the pesticide contamination levels of fruits and vegetables in the "BLACK" list:

The Fruits
  • Peaches were found to have the highest likelihood of containing multiple pesticides on a single sample, followed by nectarines and apples.
  • Bell Peppers where found to have the most pesticide detected on a single sample with approximately eleven pesticides on a single sample, followed by peaches and apples, where nine pesticides were found on a single sample.
  • Peaches where found to have the most pesticides overall with some combinations of up to 42 different pesticides, followed by apples with 37 and strawberries with 35.
The Vegetables
  • Celery was found to have the highest percentage of samples testing positive for pesticides, followed by bell peppers and potatoes.
  • Celery was found to have the highest likelihood of multiple pesticides, followed by spinach and bell peppers.
  • Bell peppers where found to contain the most pesticides detected on a single sample, followed by celery.
  • Bell peppers where found to have the most pesticides overall.
It is possible to lower your pesticide intake simply by avoiding the top 12 list, try to eat these organic foods, as non-organic produce still contains residual pesticides even after washing.

And remember eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person, on average, to approximately 20 pesticides per day.

*Based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Consumer Reports, and the Environmental Working Group.

As summer is approaching try this wonderful fruit salad, organic of course!!!

Fruit Salad

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 punnet strawberries, stemmed and halved
1 half-punnet raspberries
1 half-punnet basket blueberries
2 oranges, peeled, and cut into sections
3 Tbsp fresh mint leaves

In a medium bowl, whisk juice and honey; add remaining ingredients. Toss gently to combine; chill 1 hour.

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