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Which Foods to Always Eat Organic

The Environmental Working Group is a not for profit group that tests products for their effect on human health. They are there to help us make informed decisions about the products we use and the food we eat.

Each year the Environmental Working Group releases a Dirty Dozen list on their website. This list tests the amount of pesticides on our foods.

For the complete summary, please visit their website at

There are many pesticides and herbicides used in conventional farming, allowing the farmers to kill all the bugs and weeds easily so they don’t harm their crops. While it is good for growing and ease of farming, it is not good for our health, so we want to avoid as many pesticides and herbicides as possible in our diets.

USDA data states that almost 70 percent of the produce sold in the United States contain pesticide residues. Unfortunately, that data does not contain or test for all of the pesticides used on our produce.

The Environmental Working Group tested 47 different fruits and vegetables and listed them in order, according to which ones showed the MOST pesticide residue. These are the fruits and vegetables that contained the highest levels.


  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Kale

  4. Nectarines

  5. Apples

  6. Grapes

  7. Peaches

  8. Cherries

  9. Pears

  10. Tomatoes

  11. Celery

  12. Potatoes

The facts below are quoted directly from the EWG website:

  • More than 90 percent of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and kale tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides.

  • Multiple samples of kale showed 18 different pesticides.

  • On average, kale and spinach samples had 1.1 to 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop tested.

Although not on the Dirty Dozen list, be cautious with peppers as they do contain pesticides that are known to be toxic to the brain. Try to choose organic peppers where possible. If organic is not an option due to availability or price, cook the peppers as it helps reduce the residue of the pesticide, according to EWG.

They also list the “Clean Fifteen” which are a list of the 15 fruits and vegetables analyzed with the LEAST amount of pesticide residue,


  1. Avocados

  2. Sweet corn

  3. Pineapple

  4. Onions

  5. Papaya

  6. Sweet peas (frozen)

  7. Eggplants

  8. Asparagus

  9. Cauliflower

  10. Cantaloupes

  11. Broccoli

  12. Mushrooms

  13. Cabbage

  14. Honeydew melon

  15. Kiwi

These facts below are quoted directly from their website.

These 15 items had the lowest amounts of pesticide residues, according to EWG’s analysis of the most recent USDA data.

Key findings:

  • Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest. Fewer than 2 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides

  • With the exception of cabbage, all other products on the Clean Fifteen tested positive for four or fewer pesticides.

  • Almost 70 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no pesticide residues.

  • Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. Only 7 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.

So why is this information important?

1. Pesticides can affect your fertility

2. Pesticides and other chemicals in your body could increase your risks of certain cancers.

3. Toxins in your body can overload your liver and cause other health issues.

4. Children are the most susceptible to pesticides, and could be linked to certain pediatric cancers, cognitive and behavioural issues.

5. We still don’t know all the effects of pesticides on our environment and our bodies and well being. Pesticides are not fully tested when they are ready for market. Use of the chemical DDT was discontinued in Canada in 1985 because it was known to accumulated in fatty tissues in the body, had caused tumours in animals, and pose reproductive issues. This chemical, even though we stopped using it 35 years ago, it’s residues are still found in some produce today. Here is an article explaining it further.

Ways to Reduce Exposure:

1. Eat organic food whenever possible. Studies have confirmed that switching to an organic based diet from a conventional diet has a drastic reduction in the pesticides in the urine.

2. Wash all of your produce very well. Use an all natural fruit and vegetable wash. Such as this one a

3. Grow your own produce in your garden.

4. If you do not have some greenspace, use an aeroponic garden. Please contact me to learn more about these or get your own at

5. Shop at local farmers markets. Talk to the people who grow your food directly. This way you can learn how they are grown, and where your food comes from.

#thewellnessequation #thedirtydozen #thecleanfifteen #nutrition #wellness #organic #healthyliving #ewg #theenvironmentalworkinggroup #livingnaturally #pesticideuse

* Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. The Wellness Equation - A Division of 1954080 Ontario Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products that we organically use and trust. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but The Wellness Equation will receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

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