Pesticides in Produce – 'The Dirty Dozen'

by: Robin Taylor Updated:

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PITTSBURGH —

Many of the healthiest foods we eat may not be as healthy as we think.

An environmental group has come out with its "Dirty Dozen,” naming the most contaminated fruits and vegetables.  Consumer Investigator Robin Taylor takes a look at what’s on it.

Pesticides are meant to kill pests, but the residue isn't meant to be eaten, and it could be harmful to your health.

Apples topped the Dirty Dozen as the most pesticide-contaminated produce, followed by strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches and spinach.             

Rounding out the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen are: sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers.

The fruits and vegetables were washed or peeled before testing, so the pesticides were actually in the produce.

The Environmental Working Group also came out with the "Clean 15."   These are fruits and veggies with the least pesticide contamination.

The list includes: corn, onions, pineapples, grapefruit, kiwi, frozen peas, asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, eggplant, mangos, mushrooms, papayas and sweet potatoes.

While some of the most toxic pesticides are no longer on the market, tests indicate many pesticides are still showing up in foods.

The group wants people to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, but when it comes to the dirty dozen, suggests buying organic instead of conventional produce.