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Watchdog group releases best and worst fruits and veggies

The Environmental Working Group says percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue. (Miguel Villagran/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — An environment watchdog released its annual list of the fruits and vegetables with the most and least pesticide residue, and it’s bad news for apple fans.

For the fourth year in a row, the Environmental Working Group put apples on the top of its list of the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables, those it says have the highest concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce..

Avocados top this year’s “Clean Fifteen” list, which are fruits and vegetables least likely to have pesticide residues.

The EWG isn’t recommending that people stop buying these fruits and vegetables and says the benefit of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweighs the risks of exposure to pesticides.

Dirty Dozen:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines – Imported
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. Snap Peas – Imported
  12. Potatoes

While hot peppers, kale and collard greens did not meet the criteria for containing pesticides, the group says the three “are frequently contaminated with insecticides that are toxic to the human nervous system.”

The group recommends that people who eat a lot of these foods buy organic.

Clean Fifteen

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas – frozen
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwis
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes

Read the full report from the EWG.

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