Friday, February 1, 2013

15 Cleanest Foods to Buy



Onions are the least likely to be contaminated with pesticides.
Onions are the least likely to be contaminated with pesticides.
Image: Alexandre Dulaunoy via Flickr CC
In my last post, I talked about foods that were best when bought organic because of the high occurrence of pesticides found in them. That list included popular fruits and veggies like apples, strawberries, and spinach (read the full article here!). Pesticide contamination for apples was around 98%, and some other food items were likely to be contaminated with dozens of chemicals and pesticides of varying toxicity. On celery and strawberries, one sample revealed the presence thirteen different pesticides on each. Yikes!

But enough about the contaminated foods. You can read about that in the other post. Here I wanted to talk about the 15 cleanest foods to buy. These are the foods that, if you can’t afford to buy everything organic, are much less likely to be contaminated with pesticides in their non-organic forms. Here are the “Clean 15” as provided by the Environmental Working Group (EWG):
Watermelon is among the cleanest of produce
Watermelon is among the cleanest of produce.
Image: Shutterstock


  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  12. Sweet Potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms


If you can’t afford to buy all produce organic, these are the safest produce items to purchase non-organic varieties of. The health risks from consumption of pesticide-contaminated foods are grave. Because health risks depend on the amount of pesticides consumed and the toxicity of individual pesticides, avoiding the most contaminated foods while eating more of the least contaminated foods will help keep you out of harm’s way. 

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