Pesticides & Produce: What Organic Fruits and Veggies Should You Buy?

Posted by Taylor Jablonowski on 3/26/20 4:00 PM

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an activist group that researches and advocates for reducing toxic chemicals and drinking water pollutants as well as corporate accountability for releasing such things into the environment. Each year, they review testing from the U.S Department of Agriculture regarding pesticide residue and release two lists: “The Clean Fifteen” and “The Dirty Dozen”. This year's ranking of pesticide contamination takes into account 47 varieties of fruits and vegetables based on 43,000 plus data points.


You can be more comfortable buying non-organic produce on “The Clean Fifteen”, as these fruits and veggies tested the lowest for pesticides remaining when they hit the store shelves:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupes
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew Melon
  15. Kiwi

If you’re concerned about excess toxins, it may serve you well to consider the organic options for the following produce, as they earned the title of 2020’s “The Dirty Dozen”:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

How to Clean Your Produce

It’s always good practice to clean any produce you buy before consuming. The most important step for reducing pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables is the friction of rubbing the produce under running water. In fact, 75-80% of pesticide residue can be eliminated by just scrubbing under water. For softer produce, such as berries, soaking them in solution of diluted vinegar and a tablespoon of salt for a few minutes reduces present fungus and bacteria. Make sure to run cool, clean water over them afterward.

Benefits of Increasing Fresh Produce Intake

The fact that they’re naturally delicious aside, fruits and vegetables have amazing properties that aid physical and mental health, including:

  • Reducing oxidative stress
  • Boosting immune function
  • Increasing fiber
  • Maintaining healthy blood pressure
  • Helping the body form red blood cells

The benefits are numerous!  If you’re interested in learning more about how the food we eat plays a part in helping and healing our mind and body, you may consider our online Holistic Nutrition program. It’s ideal for anyone interested in becoming attuned to the healing power of whole foods and creating a healthier lifestyle. It’s also an excellent program for anyone interested in parlaying their education into a meaningful and successful business helping others.

Our online certificate contains the following classes:

Study Holistic Nutrition

About the Author Taylor Jablonowski

Taylor Jablonowski is SWIHA’s Marketing Specialist and a momma to a three-year-old boy named Arlo. When she's not working to make the Healing Arts accessible to everyone, you'll probably find her somewhere in the woods with her feet in a river.

Taylor Jablonowski

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