Fruits & veggies with the most & least trace pesticides (updated)

pesticides on produce

A couple of weeks ago, I released a post called Fruits and veggies with the most & least trace pesticides with an accompanying graphic to summarize the findings of the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. A few expressed concern that this list was not truly complete, as two common GMO crops – papaya and sweet corn – were on the “Clean Fifteen” side of the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, i.e. were lowest in trace pesticides and yet deemed safest to purchase conventionally-grown. I heard ya, friends. And thus I give you the new and improved lists!

Environmental Working Group (the organization that annually conducts this study and releases the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides) also commented on this issue:

“Genetically modified plants, or GMOs, are not often found in the produce section of grocery stores. Field corn, nearly all of which is produced with genetically modified seeds, is used to make tortillas, chips, corn syrup, animal feed and biofuels. Because it is not sold as a fresh vegetable, it is not included in EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Nor is soy, another heavily GMO crop that makes its way into processed food.

“The genetically modified crops likely to be found in produce aisles of American supermarkets are zucchini, Hawaiian papaya and some varieties of sweet corn. Most Hawaiian papaya is a GMO. Only a small fraction of zucchini and sweet corn are GMO. Since U.S. law does not require labeling of GMO produce, EWG advises people who want to avoid it to purchase the organically-grown versions of these items.”

This is a perfect example of just how careful we must be when it comes to our food. It is not enough to simply eat whole fruits and veggies. It is not enough to just consider GMOs or pesticides. Everything must be considered as one whole picture, rather than separate parts.

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Share Your Thoughts





  1. […] (Please click here to see an updated version of this chart.) […]

    May 17, 2013 • 10:11 am •
  2. […] face it, that’s what we need when there is just SO. MUCH. to consider – GMOs, pesticides, additives that have been banned in other countries, certified organic ingredients that are […]

    May 25, 2013 • 5:07 pm •
  3. What I like to know is with any of the dirty dozen, are the chemicals within the fruit/veg or can they be removed with washing?

    June 2, 2013 • 7:59 pm •
  4. Nadia

    Great question, Laura. As explained in the methodology section of the Shopper’s Guide (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/methodology.php), the levels of pesticide residues were tested after the fruits and veggies were washed and peeled as consumers would do.

    June 2, 2013 • 8:46 pm •
  5. Sunshine

    Do you might if I share this picture on other websites? It has your source as part of the picture, but I would include a link-back on the post. I could also send you links of my postings if you would like to make sure it is all happening in a way you approve of.

    July 19, 2013 • 2:24 pm •
  6. Nadia

    Hi, Sunshine! I’m glad you like the photo and want to share it! Yes, please feel free to share it, but I do ask that you link back to both Body Unburden’s homepage and this specific article (and if you pin it, please pin it from the original post on this site). I am notified when someone links to my posts, so I’ll see them that way. Thank you for asking permission! Have a great weekend!

    July 19, 2013 • 4:46 pm •
  7. Hello! I am so glad I found your site! I LOVE IT! I would love to share and link it in a post I am working on, if that is okay with you?

    January 28, 2014 • 11:54 pm •
  8. Nadia

    Hi! Absolutely, Natasha. Unless you want to use pics or the entire post, no need to ask!! Thanks though, I appreciate it 🙂 Your blog is so so cute, BTW!!

    January 29, 2014 • 9:25 am •