EWG adds pears and potatoes to its 'Dirty Dozen' list of foods you should always buy organic

Hannah Kramer

The EWG prides itself in providing research and information to allow people to lead healthier lives. Every year, the nonprofit releases a list called 'Dirty Dozen,' which includes a ranking of produce with the most pesticides.

Analyzing pesticide residue from 48 fruits and vegetables, the organization aims to help shoppers make the healthiest, most environmentally-friendly decisions about the types of produce they're buying.

Amongst their findings, the EWG claims that "98 percent of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide." Strawberries, which are included at the top of the list with the most pesticides, have tested for more than 20 different pesticides. Likewise, samples of spinach "had, on average, twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop," claimed the EWG.

Scroll through to find EWG's full ranking:

Unlike the previous year, potatoes and pears were added to the list, replacing cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.

When sampling non-organic pears, the USDA had found that the "amount of pesticide residues on pears more than doubled since 2010, from 0.6 parts per million to 1.3 parts per million." More than half of the pears sampled were concluded to have five or more types of pesticide residue, with some samples amounting to 20 pesticides like carbendazim and diphenylamine.

The nonprofit understands that many families struggle to afford organic options, so they urge many to use the list to guide them about the healthiest foods they can afford.

You can find the EWG's full report here.

Related: Foods you should never buy in bulk

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