12 Fruits and Vegetables That Didn't Pass the Pesticide Test and 15 That Did. We all know we’re supposed to wash fruits and vegetables before we eat them, but we probably don’t realize just how important it actually is. Fruits and vegetables are exposed to several different pesticides when they’re being grown in an effort to combat bugs, weeds, mold, and other corruptive pests, which will destroy the crop.
Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a list called “The Dirty Dozen” which is a ranking of the top 12 most pesticide-residue-ridden fruits and vegetables (with fungi thrown in as well). Conventionally, produce with a thin protective layer is known to appear on this list because the produce absorbs and retains more pesticide residues than produce with a thicker protective layer.
Though the EWG recommends you buy organic produce to limit your intake of produce that’s laden with pesticide residue, spending that much on produce isn’t always a financial option for everyone. So, the EWG also publishes “The Clean 15,” which is a list of the 15 least pesticide-ridden produce. This list consists typically of produce with an inedible exterior but a few softies made the list as well.
“The Clean 15” and “The Dirty Dozen” are based on more than 40,900 fruit and vegetable samples tested by USFDA and USDA. And, though there isn’t a complete understanding of whether there’s a particular amount of pesticides considered to be safe for human consumption, it’s best to stay on the safe side.
Find out by reading 12 fruits and vegetables that didn’t pass the pesticide test and 15 that did.