Organic Consumers Association

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Which Baby Foods Contain the Most Pesticide Residue?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Appetite For a Change page, Fair Trade & Social Justice page, and our Food Safety Resource Center page.

Every year, Environmental Working Group crunches pesticide-testing data USDA data and comes up with its "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" lists of most- and least-contaminated fruits and vegetables.

This year's model, released Tuesday, crowned the apple as the dirtiest produce, and asparagus as the cleanest. The "dirty dozen" list is below; the "clean 15" is here.

I have to add the same lament as I did last year-while I find EWG's "dirty dozen" effort to be extremely valuable for consumers on a budget deciding which produce to buy organic, I wish it would also add a third list tracking pesticide exposure for farm workers. While I do not discount the dangers of consuming small amounts of the cocktail of pesticides found on a typical grocery-store apple, it is the people who tend and harvest farm fields who bear the most risk.

Sometimes, crops that are heavily sprayed while growing end up with very little pesticide residues on the supermarket shelf. That's great for consumers but awful for farm workers.

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