The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently published its Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce, providing a list of the top 15 “clean” foods with the lowest pesticide content. The guide is based on a thorough analysis of tests conducted by the US Department of Agriculture on fruit and vegetables grown in the US.
According to the EWG report, sweet corn and avocados are the safest produce to buy, with just 1% of samples testing positive for pesticides. This is good news for fans of guacamole, who often have to pay a premium for organic avocados.
Other produce on the “Clean 15” list include pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions, and cabbage. Over 80% of samples for these fruits and vegetables turned up with no pesticide residues, while none of the items on the list contained more than four types of pesticides in total.
The EWG report shows that certain types of produce grown in the US are more likely to contain pesticides than others. Therefore, it is not always necessary to buy everything organic, especially if you are on a budget. While some people prefer to buy organic for other reasons, such as supporting environmentally-friendly farming practices, the report emphasizes that buying produce with low levels of pesticides can be an effective way to reduce your exposure.
Here is a list of the 15 types of fruit and vegetables that you do not need to worry about buying organic:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Honeydew melon
It is worth noting that while these produce have the lowest pesticide content, some people may still prefer to buy organic. For instance, senior analyst Sonya Lunder, who is the lead author of the guide, told INSIDER over the phone that she buys organic produce to support farming practices that do not harm the environment.