Apples, strawberries top list of ‘dirtiest’ produce

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(CNN/PIX11) – Apples, strawberries, celery and potatoes are among the dirtiest produce in the grocery store, according to a non-profit research group’s annual report.

This week, Environmental Working Group, a non-profit public health organization, released its latest list of the dirtiest as well as the cleanest fruits and vegetables.

For the fourth year running, apples top this year’s so-called “dirty dozen plus” list, which ranks almost 50 popular fruits and vegetables by the amount of pesticide residue on them, using samples tested by federal labs.

Kale, sweet bell peppers, grapes, peaches, imported nectarines cucumbers and cherry tomatoes made the “dirtiest” list.

The Environmental Working Group has also released the “clean fifteen” – what they say are the safest fruits and vegetables.  The top 5 this year include:  Avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage and frozen sweet peas.

So how do shoppers avoid eating so-called dirty produce?

The Environmental Working Group suggests buying organic when looking for fruits and veggies that made the unsavory list.

The USDA’s latest dietary recommendations suggest half our plates be filled with fruits and vegetables.

The produce trade association said the list causes confusion at a time when health authorities urge us to eat more produce, and adds:

“Ninety-nine percent of sampled products had residues below EPA tolerances.”

Many health experts, growers, and the environmental working group all agree that the pros of eating non-organic fruits and vegetables outweigh the cons.

See the full list of “dirty” and “clean” produce, here.

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Fruit and vegetables on display at a UK market. (Photo: Getty Images)

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