How to Reduce Your Pesticide Exposure by 90%

We have already established that quality bodies deserve quality foods and that local, organic, and in-season foods are as good as it gets. But when you’re paying 8 dollars for a persimmon at Whole Foods, you must wonder,“Is this really worth it?”

The answer depends on which food you are buying. Some fruits and vegetables are consistently much more polluted than others.

Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government tests, researchers at the Environmental Working Group have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables that you should buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be slathered in sticky, toxic pesticides.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that found that you can reduce your pesticide exposure by up to 90 percent by avoiding the top twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables. So which are the dirtiest?

Buy Organic if Possible (most pollluted)

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

Organic is Better, But Not Necessary (less contaminated)

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

You can further reduce your exposure to pesticides by picking up an spray fruit wash, preferably natural and organic, which is typically made from citrus fruit. Buying from farmers’ markets is typically safer, as is growing your own.

While buying organic is almost always better than inorganic, achieving a realistic balance can save you boatloads of hard-earned cash. Because 8 bucks for a persimmon is preposterous…


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