2016's Dirty Dozen List

Author: Romina Rooney  •  Date: May 3, 2016  •  Appears in: News

2016's Dirty Dozen List

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has recently come out with the list of the "Dirty Dozen" for 2016.

The "Dirty Dozen" refer to the top 12 produce items that are most contaminated by pesticide use, if they are conventionally grown. And after five years of topping the list, apples have officially been dethroned as the most pesticide-loaded produce and a new fruit tops the list, the strawberry. Using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (USDA), EWG found each of these foods listed below tested postive for a number of different pesticide residues and showed higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. A single sample of strawberries alone was found to have 17 different pesticides.

1. Strawberries
2. Apples
3. Nectarines
4. Peaches
5. Celery
6. Grapes
7. Cherries
8. Spinach
9. Tomatoes
10. Sweet bell peppers
11. Cherry tomatoes
12. Cucumbers

While many recognize the benefits of eating organic to reduce harmful chemicals entering the body, for a variety of reasons not everyone can switch to an entirely organic diet. EWG’s Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ recognizes that many people who want to reduce their exposure to pesticides cannot find or afford an all-organic diet. The guide helps consumers identify conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that tend to test low for pesticide residues. When they want foods whose conventional versions test high for pesticides, they can make an effort to locate organic versions.

Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet, but they’ll always be better for one’s health when they’re not contaminated with dangerous chemicals!


Romina Rooney


Romina is the Marketing Coordinator for Soil Mate. She is passionate about environmental sustainability, community, travel and chocolate. She lives in Kelowna, BC with her two young kids, husband and two dogs.
Read more by Romina Rooney

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