Fruits and veggies with the highest and lowest risk of pesticides

July 9, 2008

Do you know that the greatest risks from pesticides in your diet come from eating conventionally produced fruits and vegetables? A new pocket guide can help you avoid the highest-risk fresh produce during both the summer season and winter, when a significant share of fresh produce is imported.

Available at, the “Organic Essentials” pocket guide presents lists of conventional fruits and vegetables that pose the most significant pesticide-related risks and – therefore – are the most critical produce items to purchase as organic.

Risk rankings are based on The Organic Center’s March 2008 report, Simplifying the Pesticide Risk Equation: The Organic Option.

The following fruits and vegetables present the highest risk:

Domestically Grown Conventional Fruits

1.  Cranberries
2.  Nectarines
3.  Peaches
4.  Strawberries
5.  Pears

 Domestically Grown Conventional Vegetables

1.  Green beans
2.  Sweet bell peppers
3.  Celery
4.  Cucumbers
5.  Potatoes

Imported Conventional Fruits

1.  Grapes
2.  Nectarines
3.  Peaches
4.  Pears
5.  Strawberries

Imported Conventional Vegetables

1.  Sweet bell peppers
2.  Lettuce
3.  Cucumbers
4.  Celery
5.  Tomatoes

In 1993 the National Academy of Sciences released a widely acclaimed report entitled Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. The report set forth a compelling case to protect infants and children from developmental problems triggered by pesticide exposures. Unfortunately, the reforms recommended by the NAS have been just partially implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency. As a result, there have been only modest changes in the uses of several risky pesticides in conventional farming over the last 15 years.

To avoid the health risks associated with eating pesticide laden fuits and vegetables grow your own or buy organic.



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