Use CR’s exclusive ratings to get the health benefits from fruits and vegetables while minimizing your risk from toxic chemicals
Sinking your teeth into a crisp apple or chomping on a stalk of celery is something you should be able to do without thinking. After all, the best nutritional science shows that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables—and plenty of them—is a crucial component of good health. But produce sometimes comes with potentially harmful pesticide levels.
That’s according to a new Consumer Reports analysis of five years of data from the Department of Agriculture collected from tests on fruits and vegetables to detect about 450 pesticides. In some cases, those levels exceed what CR’s experts consider safe.
The solution isn’t to eat less produce. More than 80 percent of Americans already fall short of the recommended amounts: at least 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits per day for most adults. Instead, you can minimize the risk by choosing fruits and vegetables grown with fewer and safer pesticides.