Fruits and veggies do the booty good. It’s no surprise. They’re filled with important vitamins and nutrients that, when balanced with other health foods, keep you feeling and looking your best. But they’re often chock full of nasty pesticides, too.

Pesticides mess your shit up.

Why do you think the insects don’t want to get anywhere near ‘em? They cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system damage and hormone imbalances.

Of course some (dumb) people argue that these substances aren’t much to worry about. I’m guessing maybe their moms ingested too many pesticides when they were in utero. That would make sense given the 2011 University of California, Berkeley study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, which showed that pregnant women with high levels of organophosphate pesticides in their system had children who scored lower on IQ tests years later. These “experts” may have had their brains muddled like a Mojito in the womb.

It’s not their fault they are so stupid.

What. The. Yuck.

A chemical smorgasbord doesn’t exactly sound healthy. Neither does scrubbing the skins of fruits and vegetables obsessively until your fingers bleed. So what’s a well intentioned girl to do?

Purchasing organic fruits and veggies to reduce your chances of sucking up pesticide fumes is a solution.  But money only stretches so far for a lot of families and buying all organic is often not very practical. Unless you want Timmy to be walking around with cardboard shoes the next time his foot decides to sprout 3 inches overnight.

The trick is knowing when you can afford to get away with the conventional varieties of fruits and veggies.

Luckily the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual list, based on their research, that takes all the guess work out of it.

It points out helpful tidbits, like the fact that 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue. First it was Eve. Then Snow White. Now it seems the apple continues to earn it’s spot as the most vile fruity villain around. But apples aren’t the only concern. Even a single grape can have as many as 15 different pesticides.

Is it better to buy organic?

Here’s the EWG’s latest list of the fruits and veggies with the most pesticides (known as the “Dirty Dozen Plus”):

    1    Apples

    2    Peaches

    3    Nectarines

    4    Strawberries

    5    Grapes

    6    Celery

    7    Spinach

    8    Sweet bell peppers

    9    Cucumbers

    10    Cherry tomatoes

    11    Snap peas (imported)

    12    Potatoes

The fruits and veggies with the least pesticides (known as the “Clean Fifteen“) are:

    1    Avocados

    2    Sweet corn

    3    Pineapples

    4    Cabbage

    5    Sweet peas (frozen)

    6    Onions

    7    Asparagus

    8    Mangos

    9    Papayas

    10    Kiwi

    11    Eggplant

    12    Grapefruit

    13    Cantaloupe

    14    Cauliflower

    15    Sweet potatoes

Buying organic whenever possible might be the nutrient rich holy grail. But if that’s just not doable, EWG’s guide can help you navigate the produce aisle like a boss.

Feel good about buying conventional versions of the clean 15. Spend your hard earned moolah upgrading frequently eaten, conventional dirty dozen items to organic instead. Unless, of course, you want a family full of pesticide laden pudding brains.

You can read the EWG’s full report here and even download a convenient app to help you remember what’s what. Because mom amnesia.

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