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iStock 628097352 Cropped According the U.S.D.A., organic products are in nearly three out of four grocery stores. Yet organic food sales including fruits, veggies, dairy, beverages, packaged foods, breads and grains, snack foods, meat, fish, poultry, and condiments only account for four percent of the total U.S. Food sales, according to recent industry statistics.

The Environmental Working Group releases a list of its Dirty Dozen, which includes foods that tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and showed higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce items. Nearly two-thirds of the 3,015 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture contained pesticide residues. 

The Dirty Dozen 

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

Also to note with high number of residues include: Hot Peppers and Kale/Collard Greens.

Although some fruits and vegetables are cleaner of pesticides than others, if you cannot afford to purchase organic varieties of the list above, remember to wash them with a soft brush and mild soap and water. Some foods like broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, melons, potatoes, berries and some others may require a soaking in a one to three ratio of a vinegar and water mixture. This helps kill all the bacteria.

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