Pesticide Levels in Produce

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There’s a reason that farmers and home gardeners use pesticides.

They’re used to help maintain crop health by preventing infestations from pests, hence the name, pesticides. Government officials assure us that the levels used are safe; yet the majority of people with an opinion are deeply concerned about the health effects of pesticide use on the produce they consume. In fact, while tolerance levels are put in place for pesticides, testing shows that some samples have different (as in more than one) pesticide residue.

Consequently, sales of organically grown produce continues to rise. However, the pricing of the organic fruits and vegetable are also on the rise. Therefore, knowing which fruits and vegetables are subject to pesticide use can help you determine which produce you should buy that’s organically grown and which you can safely purchase grown with traditional methods. money.

The EWG “Environmental Working Group” tested different fruits and vegetables and determined (in 2015) that these were the items most likely to have pesticide residue.


#1 Apples
99% of all apples tested positive. Always wash your apples. Add a tablespoonful of lemon juice and a tablespoon of baking soda to a gallon of water. Dip and scrub the wax off the apples using a produce or soft brush.

Raspberries can be dusted with around 40 different chemicals.

Strawberries can have up to 300 pounds of pesticides per acre with up to 36 found on each berry.

Cherries can have around 25.

Grapes up to 15.

Peaches can have up to 45 different pesticides applied.

Nectarines typically have just one.

Spinach, leafy greens and hot peppers often have hard pesticides, and sweet bell peppers are often high in residue as well. Celery is grown with up to 29 different chemicals.

More to worry about? Yes, 30 pesticides often used on tomatoes, snap peas up to 13, and potatoes have more by weight than any other produce.

There ARE relatively clean foods. Avocadoes, sweet corn, cabbage, sweet peas, onions, asparagus, cauliflower and sweet potatoes typically are free of pesticide residue.


NO residue was found on 80% of pineapples, kiwi, papayas, mangos and over 60% of cantaloupes.

This information should help you decide which produce to buy organically and which to avoid and/or clean well before eating.

This list might also help you want to start or expand your garden!