Each year we reproduce the EWG's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen™ list of pesticides in produce. While this is a USA list, it's the most definitive we have and should act as a reasonable guide to assist you to make better produce decisions in Australia. Don't get too caught up in the different country cropping, chemicals, testing etc arguments, that you might come across. EWG are reputable and extensive testers of a wide range of products in the USA and they have been doing this work for years. I don't dispute that there are differences in the chemicals, pesticides used in USA versus Australia, but the basics are universal. Personally, I buy as fresh produce as local as possible for nutrient value and I avoid GMO or arsenic potential foods (ground foods). This means I am more likely to buy in organic fruit with tough outer skin, always try and buy organic broccoli, corn, lettuce and carrots. I buy basmati rice from India or Pakistan and grow herbs myself.
The EWG Clean Fifteen™ are a list of fruits and vegetables that have few, if any, detected pesticide residues. The significance of this list is that this is the produce that doesn't really need to be purchased organic, if it is pesticides that concern you. Every year, the EWG analyse pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration and use it to come up with rankings for fresh produce items. EWG rank 48 different foods from the highest number of pesticides to the lowest.
This list shows produce starting from the LOWEST amount of pesticides.
* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce. Images: Unsplash | Wimber Cancho