Beware: 10 Fruits And Vegetables That Contain The Most Pesticides

Washing your favorite fruits and vegetables under the flowing water shows that you are following a good hygienic rule. But are you sure this is enough? Of course, you are cleaning all the dirt from the top but what about the chemicals or pesticides?

The bitter truth is that the use of harsh chemicals has increased a lot in the recent years. According to the latest study by, the fruits and vegetables that we consume today have high amounts of hazardous pesticides. The research also claims that some natural foods tend to absorb more pesticides than the others.

Interestingly, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) has released their latest “Dirty Dozen List”, which itemizes more than 50 foods that carry the maximum pesticide content. These natural foods contain about 47% to 67% of chemicals in each serving. With a little more research, here is a detailed explanation about the top 10 fruits and vegetables that are extremely inorganic and if you are consuming them on a daily basis, it is better to buy them organic.


The list is divided into two sections (fruits and vegetables) with 5 foods in each. The list is arranged in reverse chronological order with the highest-pesticide-content foods in the last while others in the first.

Classification: Vegetables

10. Lettuce

Many studies have proven that the crops of lettuce are treated with different types of hazardous pesticides before it reaches a supermarket. The USDA Pesticide Data Program reveals that there are about 52 pesticide residues found in a normal lettuce, which are more likely to be neurotoxins, carcinogens, and hormone disruptors.

9. Green Beans

Almost all the major producers of green beans use fungicides and insecticides to manage the crops from insects and other plant viruses. Though they kill all the pesky microbes, they have a serious effect on the human health. The highest known pesticides in green beans are acephate and methamidophos, both of which have adverse effects on the body. They directly affect the nervous and reproductive system. You will be shocked to read the fact that the chemical acephate is still being used on green beans even after being banned by the Environmental Protection Agency back in 2009.

8. Potatoes

Sadly, even potatoes are among the vegetables that have the most pesticides. This is the reason you will never see nonorganic farmers eating their own potato produce. The potatoes you buy at the stores today contain high quantities of chlorpropham, o-phenyl phenol, and thiabendazole, each of which disrupts the body’s endocrine balance badly. The chemical chlorpropham, when consumed for long-term is reported to cause congenital disabilities and other reproductive problems.

7. Spinach

Yeah, what we call as the “richest source of iron” is actually a food that is laden with more than 48 pesticides; thus, making it the second most contaminated greens. The highest pesticide residue found in spinach is permethrin, which is a reported carcinogen and a hormone disruptor. Also, the chemical DDE p,p’ in spinach is known to cause birth defects.

6. Celery

So, topping the list of nonorganic vegetables is none other celery with more than 64 pesticide residues, out of which, 10 are carcinogens, 12 are neurotoxins, 12 are reproductive toxins, 27 are hormone disruptors while the rest 16 effects the environment badly.

Among all the green vegetables, celery has the highest amounts of Chlorantraniliprole, Spinosad, and Methoxyfenozide. According to health experts and researchers, the increasing use of these chemicals has a serious impact on human health. It causes cancer, immune system damage, genetic damage, hormonal imbalance, and congenital disabilities.

Classification: Fruits

5. Grapes

Indeed, grapes are one of the healthiest snacks. They are one of the best sources to gain natural polyphenols but sadly, even these are not organic anymore. These little bunches are reported to have 56 types of pesticide residues with the highest being Imidacloprid, whose toxicity is a real concern. The other chemicals found in them are Boscalid, Myclobutanil, Pyraclostrobin, Trifloxystrobin, and Tebuconazole, which can cause hormonal imbalance, cancer in the tissues, birth defects, and brain damage.

4. Peaches

Peaches are one of the best fruits to beat the summer heat. They are more than a sweet treat. However, their soft skin makes it easily vulnerable to absorb more chemicals. With 62 pesticide residues found in them, 8 are reported to be carcinogens, 24 are suspected to be hormone disruptors, 12 are neurotoxins, 9 affect the growth, and the rest 20 are highly dangerous for the surroundings. The highest amounts of chemicals found in peaches are Fludioxonil, Iprodione, Phosmet, Azinphos-methyl, etc.

3. Nectarines

Nectarines are another delicious fruits that belong to the peach family. They are known to carry the highest quantities of pesticides, and all this is owed to their soft skin. According to the study reports, about 53.2 percent of nectarines carry a harmful pesticide known as formetanate hydrochloride, and 31 percent of them are loaded with iprodione, both of which are potent carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

2. Apples

It is no surprise that apples are one of the world’s biggest commodities. In 2012 alone, United States harvested about nine billion pounds just for commercial usage and sale. They are the 2nd most consumed fruit and hold about $3.1 billion market share. However, it is quite an astonishment that even apples are one of the highest pesticide laden fruits.

The proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is no longer true. According to the analysis done by EWG, about 98% of apples sold at the market today carry a lot of pesticides. Since the skin is delicate, the fruit is more vulnerable to have the pesticide absorbed. The highest amount of chemicals found in apples are DPA (Diphenylamine), Thiabendazole, Pyrimethanil, and Chlorantraniliprole.

1. Strawberries

If you are fond of strawberries, beware! It is the fruit with the most pesticides. Various studies report that strawberries have the deadliest chemical residues. It has Tetrahydrophthalimide, Pyraclostrobin, Captan, Fenhexamid, Pyrimethanil, and Methyl Iodide. All these have a fatal effect on the body. They damage the reproductive system and nervous system. Some are even reported to cause congenital disabilities and serious poisoning.

This list may not be all-inclusive but certainly gives the idea about the vegetables & fruits one has to look out for. Prevent yourself from the deadly damage and save the coming generations as well. Switch to organic produce.


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