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The 12 MOST contaminated fruits and vegetables

Lenka Pagan

Last week, I talked about why organic fruits and vegetables are better for your health.

This week, I am going to talk about the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. I recommend that it’s  best to buy organic when it comes to this list of 12 as they have the highest pesticide residue.



strawberries1.  Strawberries

Strawberries are on the top of the list as the most contaminated of all fruits and vegetables. Most of the pesticides used on strawberries are fungicides that could potentially cause cancer.



2.  Apples   apples

Apples are great for your digestive tract and are a wonderful source of fibre. Unfortunately, they were also very close to the top of the ‘high in pesticides’ list. Additionally, apples are coated with wax to increase their shelf life, as well as for aesthetic reasons.



3. Nectarines

nectarinesAccording to Pesticide Action Network, five of the pesticides that were found on their samples were carcinogenic in nature and 17 were suspected hormone disruptors.




4. Peaches

Among the 50 pesticides that were found, five exceeded the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency.




5. Celery

Celerceleryy is an excellent source of Vitamin C (choose dark green). I mainly use it for juicing and smoothies. Celery was found to have more than fifty different types of pesticides, so if you cannot find organic celery, skip it.




6. Grapes

Grapfgges are fumigated with methyl bromide to ensure a successful harvest. This chemical is highly neurotoxic. The soil is impregnated with Methyl bromide and is known to contaminate the surrounding areas. Sadly, the Environmental Working Group’s report found that a single serving of grapes can have as many as 15 different chemicals in it. It’s far better to buy organic grapes.



7. Cherries

Like the other fruits and vegetables on this list, cherries are susceptible to fungi, bacteria and pest destruction. For this reason, cherry trees are constantly sprayed with pesticides.cherries




8. Spinach, kale and collard greens

Spinachspinach is a favourite due to its versatility. Unfortunately, non-organic spinach contains permethrin, a commonly used pesticide. Studies show that Permethrin is linked to Parkinson’s disease and it’s also believed  to be a carcinogen.



Leafy greens, such as lettuce, collard greens and kale are rich in nutritional value however, their leaves can gather and maintain a lot of pesticide residue which it quite difficult to wash off. As you cannot remove the skin, as with other food products, it is in your best interest to seek out organic leafy greens.kale_collard_greens




9. Tomatoes
tomatoesStudies have proved that organic tomatoes are not only free from harmful contaminants but also   contain more flavonoids. Tomatoes carry sixty-nine pesticides.





10. Peppers

Peppers, hot peppers specifically, have been found to carry seventy-five pesticides, some of which are carcinog
ens, which are known to cause cancer. If you cannot find or afford organic peppers, skip them! It is not worth the neurotoxins. Try onions instead, they have tested as a much cleaner product.

11. Sweet corn

If you buy non-organic sweetcorn from a supermarket, it is very likely you will purchase a genetically-modified variety. The same goes for any sweetcorn-based product, including popcorn. Organic sweetcorn remains the best choice, as it is still a healthy choice and has not been genetically modified (yet).



12. Cucumberscucumber-685704_640

They have eighty-six different kinds of pesticides. It is recommended to go with organic cucumbers. In case you have no other choice but to purchase conventional cucumbers, peel the skin, as this is where the pesticide residue lies.

Next week: find out what the least contaminated fruits and vegetables are…


Lenka Pagan
Lenka supports women to live happier and healthier life. :-)

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