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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

TOP 12 MOST CONTAMINATED FOODS

We know, we know: An apple a day keeps blah blah blah. But according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG)'s Dirty Dozen list, which is comprised of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables, apples are the in No. 1 spot for the fifth year in a row. The non-profit agency found that 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue. The produce samples were tested in a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for EWG's 2015 Shopper's Guide. The EWG encourages people to buy organic produce, at least for these 12 items.

Worth noting: The trendy vegetable of the moment, kale, also earned recognition on the agency's "Dirty Dozen Plus" list—the extended version that also includes collard greens. Kale doesn't make the regular list because it technically doesn't have as many pesticides as the other produce on the list—but the ones they do contain are particularly toxic to humans.

The Dirty Dozen:

1. Apples

2. Peaches

3. Nectarines

4. Strawberries

5. Grapes

6. Celery

7. Spinach

8. Sweet Bell Peppers

9. Cucumbers

10. Cherry Tomatoes

11. Imported Snap Peas

12. Potatoes

  TIP: Wash your produce more effectively. According to the EWG, a cold water rinse that lasts about 15 to 20 seconds is a good start to cleaning your produce, but you can go a step further according to NDTV Food. Washing produce with 2% of salt water will remove most of pesticide residues, says the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

On the other end of the food spectrum, the agency also released its Clean Fifteen list, which ranks the fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticides. While EWG says buying organic is always a good idea, these fruits and vegetables are safe bets in their non-organic form.

The Clean Fifteen:

1. Avocados

2. Sweet Corn

3. Pineapples

4. Cabbage

5. Frozen Sweet Peas

6. Onions

7. Asparagus

8. Mangoes

9. Papayas

10. Kiwi

11. Eggplant

12. Grapefruit

13. Cantaloupe

14. Cauliflower

15. Sweet Potatoes

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