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Pesticides in the produce aisles
Reduce your family's exposure

One of the best ways to minimize your exposure to pesticides and produce is to buy products that are grown organically, without the use of chemicals. You won’t be alone. According to the Organic Trade Association, sales of organic foods topped $9.3 billion in 2002 (up 25% from 2001) and should reach $20 billion by 2005. In addition to reducing the risk of your family ingesting toxins, the environmental state of our planet is improved as we rely less on chemically-grown foods.

However, depending on your circumstances and location, organic food products might not be affordable or readily available.

To help you get started on the right path, we include some information below on the fruits and vegetables that tend to be the most contaminated, followed by those that are least contaminated (Based on analysis of USDA inspection data by Environmental Working Group (EWG) to determine which fruits and vegetables have the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue). This doesn’t mean that you have to completely avoid such products, but you should know going into the store where the risks might be.

Fruits and Vegetables Posing Pesticide Concerns...

Produce to "Keep Your Eye On"

Fruits Vegetables
Peaches Spinach
Apples Bell Peppers
Strawberries Celery
Nectarines Potatoes
Pears Hot Peppers
Red Raspberries  
Imported Grapes  

Produce With "The Right Stuff"
On the other hand, there are many foods that tend to be low in pesticide residue. EWG analysis of the latest government test results shows that the following fruits and vegetables have the least pesticide contamination among conventionally-grown foods:

Produce to Put In Your Cart

Fruits Vegetables
Pineapples Avocado
Plantains Cauliflower
Mangoes Brussels Sprouts
Bananas Asparagus
Watermelon Radishes
Plums Broccoli
Kiwi Fruit Onions
Blueberries Okra
Papaya Cabbage
Grapefruit Eggplant
For more information, visit EWG's Web site at