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When to Buy Organic?  

It’s always best to choose organic fruits and vegetables but there are times when it is more important than others. Use the following list to help guide your purchases. 

How This Guide Was Developed  

The produce ranking was developed by analysts at the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) based on the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2005. 

EWG is a not-for-profit environmental research organization dedicated to improving public health and protecting the environment by reducing pollution in air, water and food. For more information visit www.ewg.org.  

 

The Full List: 43 Fruits & Veggies  

RANK  

FRUIT OR VEGGIE  

SCORE  

1 (worst)  

Peaches  

100 (highest pesticide load)  

2  

Apples  

96  

3  

Sweet Bell Peppers  

86  

4  

Celery  

85  

5  

Nectarines  

84  

6  

Strawberries  

83  

7  

Cherries  

75  

8  

Lettuce  

69  

9  

Grapes - Imported  

68  

10  

Pears  

65  

11  

Spinach  

60  

12  

Potatoes  

58  

13  

Carrots  

57  

14  

Green Beans  

55  

15  

Hot Peppers  

53  

16  

Cucumbers  

52  

17  

Raspberries  

47  

18  

Plums  

46  

19  

Oranges  

46  

20  

Grapes-Domestic  

46  

21  

Cauliflower  

39  

22  

Tangerine  

38  

23  

Mushrooms  

37  

24  

Cantaloupe  

34  

25  

Lemon  

31  

26  

Honeydew Melon  

31  

27  

Grapefruit  

31  

28  

Winter Squash  

31  

29  

Tomatoes  

30  

30  

Sweet Potatoes  

30  

31  

Watermelon  

25  

32  

Blueberries  

24  

33  

Papaya  

21  

34  

Eggplant  

19  

35  

Broccoli  

18  

36  

Cabbage  

17  

37  

Bananas  

16  

38  

Kiwi  

14  

39  

Asparagus  

11  

40  

Sweet Peas-Frozen  

11  

41  

Mango  

9  

42  

Pineapples  

7  

43  

Sweet Corn-Frozen  

2  

44  

Avocado  

1  

45 (best)  

Onions  

1 (lowest pesticide load)  

 

 

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