Certain fruits & vegetables contain more pesticides than others. A test was done on the 2010 harvest and a 2011 “dirty dozen” list was created. Even though the list may now be seen as slightly outdated, the fruits and vegetables on this list have been on the “dirty” list in the past (pre-2010). Leafy greens, fruits and berries make up a large amount of the dirty list, which fruits and vegetables that have skins which are removed before eating tend to have the lowest amount of lingering pesticides.
If there is a fruit or vegetable that isn’t on either of the lists, look for it on What’s On My Food.
I know buying organic can be much more expensive, which is why this list is useful. It gives you a rough idea of what fruits/vegetables you can get away with buying that aren’t organic and ones that you should really try to get organic.
Fruits & Vegetables you should always buy Organic
1. Celery (doesn’t have a skin so the pesticides sinks right in)
7. Apples (these are one of the most pesticide-contaminated foods)
9. Bell Peppers
Typically “Clean” Fruits & Vegetables
These are ones that you may not necessarily have to buy organic, although it's generally best to buy organic when you can (or grow your own!)
5. Sweet Peas
13. Sweet Potato
14. Honeydew Melon
15. Sweet Corn (make sure it’s not genetically modified)
***Useful Info on the Web:***
• Pesticides: What’s on my Food?
• Shelf Life Guide: StillTasty