Pesticide-Laden Produce List 2018

The 2018 version of the Dirty Dozen List is out and not surprisingly at least twelve varieties of conventional (non-organic) produce tested high in contamination from synthetic pesticides.  “In fact, nearly 70% of conventionally grown — non-organic — produce samples were contaminated, the tests indicated.”

Strawberries again top 2018’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ fruits and veggies


A single sample of strawberries showed 20 pesticides, the report indicated. More than 98% of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue. And, on average, spinach samples had 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.

This year, the Dirty Dozen list is actually a “baker’s dozen” and includes a 13th suspect: hot peppers. These were found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system, according to the report authors. Anyone who frequently eats hot peppers should buy organic…

Should you be concerned about synthetic pesticides on your produce?

Research “suggests that pesticides may induce chronic health complications.  In children, pesticide exposure may trigger neurodevelopmental or behavioral problems, birth defects, asthma, and cancer,” noted the authors of a 2012 American Academy of Pediatricians report quoted by the Environmental Working Group.


If you are able to choose organic versions of the produce testing high for synthetic pesticides, that is the best solution.  If not, then be sure to wash the produce well under running water before eating it.  And to really remove the pesticides, give your produce a pre-soak in some water with baking soda.  According to the results of a recent study we posted on this blog not long ago, soaking produce in a solution of baking soda and water is a more effective way to rid fruits and veggies of pesticides.