Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

When it comes to food, you know how the mantra goes: eat local organic, then local, then organic, don't forget fair trade, less packaging is better, etc., etc. It would be great if we could all do all of these things all the time, but it's tough, especially with farmer's markets and local farms heading for hibernation over the winter. For many of us, there comes a time when buying fresh food from organic sources is darn near impossible; for those times, the Environmental Working Group has published the 4th edition of the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. It ranks 43 fruits and vegetables, from most to least pesticides found in conventional varieties, 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 2004. The guide comes in handy wallet form, making it easy to have at the ready the next time you want to know if peaches or pears generally use more pesticides (peaches do). For quick reference, the "Dirty Dozen" -- the top 12 most heavily washed in pest & weed killer -- are peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce & potatoes, so you'd be well advised to look for organic varieties of all of these. At the bottom of the list are onions, avocado, frozen sweet corn, pineapple, mango and asparagus. Learn more about the methodology, why reducing your exposure to pesticides is smart and then get the guide. ::Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce via ::Lifehacker