The Wenatchee World



The latest extended forecast from The Weather Channel

Remove this weather forecast


Lo59° Mostly Clear


Hi82° Isolated Showers

Wednesday Night

Lo59° Partly Cloudy


Hi87° Mostly Sunny

Thursday Night

Lo63° Partly Cloudy


Hi89° Mostly Sunny

Friday Night

Lo64° Partly Cloudy


Hi90° Mostly Sunny

Saturday Night

Lo60° Partly Cloudy


Hi88° Partly Sunny

Apples top Dirty Dozen list

Send to Kindle
Print This

Oh, brother. The Environmental Working Group, an outfit in Washington, D.C., released their annual Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce on Tuesday — and guess what? Apples rank top of the list.

EWG claims The Dirty Dozen of contaminated foods contain more pesticides than any other fruits and veggies on the market. They also say consumers can lower the volume of pesticides they eat by instead choosing produce from what they call The Clean Fifteen list.

But before you swap those crisp, sweet Fujis for, say, a sack of onions, know that local horticulture experts consider EWG's methodologies fairly bogus.

"Thousands of toxicologists — many of them academics with no industry ties — believe the Environmental Working Group's methods are off-base," said Tim Smith, Washington State University Extension agent for North Central Washington. "They have their own way for determining these results that differ dramatically from the standard testing methods."

The truth, said Smith, is that the fruit industry has made tremendous strides in the last few decades towards pesticide safety. "We're using products now that are far less dangerous to the environment and far less toxic to the consumer than ever before," he said.

According to EWG's 2011 report, top culprits on the Dirty Dozen list were apples, with 92 percent of those tested showing two or more pesticide residues. Apples were followed by celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, domestic blueberries, lettuce and kale and collard greens.

The cleanest veggies and fruits were onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocados and asparagus.

To EWG's credit, they encouraged people to eat fruits and veggies, particularly organic varieties. "The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure," the Shopper's Guide says.

All comments are moderated before appearing. For more information, please read the approval guidelines. Questions? See our Disqus commenting FAQ or our full commenting policy.

Comments Help

A few important points:

  • You must have a Disqus account to comment (your Wenatchee World login and Disqus login are completely separate)
  • You must provide your first and last name
  • Your comment must be civil

For more information see our Disqus commenting FAQ or our full commenting policy