The Dirty Dozen

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Eating organic is beneficial to those who worry about what goes into their bodies, the air, the soil, and the water. But when do you know how picky to be about produce? 

Here is a list of the 12 most important fruits and vegetables to eat organic, developed by analysts at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG). The results are based on nearly 43,000 produce tests for pesticides collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2004.

The 12 conventionally-grown fruits and veggies with the highest pesticide contamination rates (even after washing and rinsing) include:

1. Peaches (worst)
2. Apples
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Imported grapes
10. Spinach
11. Lettuce
12. Potatoes

The answer to pesticides is to buy organic or grow your own. Organic foods are healthy, they often taste better, you’re not ingesting all kinds of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, and genetically-engineered substances, and you’re working with–and for–the earth. For more information, visit