10 Foods with the Highest Pesticide Residue Levels

Find out if your favorite fruit or vegetable is on this list

10 Foods with the Highest Pesticide Residue Levels

Who knew that biting into a strawberry could make you susceptible to cancer, or that a few too many pesticide-sprayed pears might lead to irreversible nervous system damage? A quick rinse under tap water might make your apple look shiny and new, but it won't do much to save you from the contamination of possibly 48 different harmful pesticides. While you already might know what foods you should buy organic, there are plenty of reasons to consider choosing a “clean” fruit over a pesticide-riddled one.

Pesticides are used in many phases of fruit and vegetable growth. While they may ward off bugs and preserve the shelf life of your fruit, they also pose a lot of potential health risks — particularly for children.

Even acute pesticide consumption is potentially lethal, and consistent exposure to pesticides can cause severe neurological damage, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, as well as disorders of the endocrine and reproductive systems.

In addition to causing health risks to people, pesticide use has greatly harmed the environment. Pesticide usage over a long period of time can result in lower crop yields, reduced soil fertility, and increased susceptibility to pests and disease. In nature, pesticides are impossible to limit to specific areas, since sprays often venture into unintentional areas. Plus, with the assistance of natural wind, pesticides also contaminate the air and water.

Most effects from pesticides are felt at high exposure levels, and are no reason to give up on fruits and vegetables completely. However, it’s still imperative that you approach your produce purchases with health-conscious consideration. While purchasing organic produce is an easy alternative, it usually comes at a higher price tag, which is why we’ve included alternative foods you can buy that will provide similar nutritional value, without the same high levels of pesticides.

Click here to see the 10 Foods with the Highest Pesticide Residue Levels Slideshow.

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This article is very poorly done. Organic does not mean pesticide or chemical free or "clean" as the author puts it, it only means that the pesticides used must themselves be organic. This does not mean that they are harmless to consumers or the environment at high enough levels of exposure. In addition, the author provides no solid information on the actual levels of pesticides present in any of the truly terrifying produce cited, nor does she state how they compared to the EPA standards except to note that peaches tested showed levels "...far below the EPA's tolerance standards..." Surely this sort of data must have been included in the source material, but since none is cited, the reader is left with no ability to draw any conclusions other than the ones that the author provides. If this data was not provided in the author's source material, than this points to very slipshod research on her part.

This piece is short on science, long on fear-mongering. For more information on the pesticides used in organic produce, see below.


Marilyn Dolan's picture

This is an extremely irresponsible article. Please visit www.safefruitsandveggies.com for factual information about the amount of pesticide residue found on fruits and vegetables. And keep doing what your mom (not to mention health experts around the world) advise -- eat plenty of fruits and vegetables of all kinds for good health.

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