Shopper's guide to pesticides

A diet high in fruit and vegetables is for the most part a healthy one. Additionally, by cutting down on meat consumption and increasing fruit and vegetable intake, the less our carbon impact.

However, when we buy fruit and veggies from the supermarket, we’re often getting more than we bargained for in terms of pesticides.

The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides has ranked pesticide contamination for dozens of popular fruits and vegetables based on an analysis of 87,000 tests conducted from 2000 to 2007 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

According to the Environmental Working Group, people can lower their pesticide exposure by almost 80 percent, simply by avoiding certain types of fruits and vegetables.

The worst 5 fruit and veggies in terms of pesticide contamination:

Sweet Bell Pepper

The 5 least contaminated by pesticides:

Sweet Peas – Frozen
Sweet Corn – Frozen

You can view a full list of all 47 fruit and vegetables tested here and also download a wallet guide.

We really do put a lot trust in the mega-corps that grow our food and the Big Agriculture machine behind them. Sure it’s nice to get strawberries out of season, but at what cost? And what is it with strawberries these days – so big, yet so tasteless; like many other fruits. We (and the environment) are paying a high price for aesthetics, convenience and our “everything, all the time” demands.

However, there is a growing dissatisfaction with how our food is grown and gets to us, leading to a rapid increase in popularity of natural food cooperatives and the resurgence of the home organic vegetable garden using heirloom and heritage seeds.