This article first appeared on the Well + Good Blog It’s that time of year, again. (Sorry, we’re not talking about the end of winter.)
The Environmental Working Group just released its 2015 update to the annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which includes the latest version of its popular “Dirty Dozen” list, the 12 fruits and vegetables that were found to contain the most pesticide residues.
What were some of the big findings?
First off, EWG found that consumers are often ingesting pesticides with their conventionally-grown produce. “Nearly two-thirds of produce samples tested by the government and analyzed for the 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce contained pesticide residues—a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals,” says the Environmental Working Group’s senior analyst, Sonya Lunder.
The data analyzed comes from tests done by the USDA, in which produce is washed and peeled to mimic what a consumer would do before it’s tested. After EWG compiles the data, analysts classify the 48 popular fruits and veggies into the 12 that contained the most pesticide residues—The Dirty Dozen—and the 15 that contained the least—The Clean 15. (The Clean 15 were found to have the least pesticide residue, not necessarily no residue.)