Nutrition Toronto

The Dirty Dozen Foods

Whether you are on a budget and need to prioritize your organic purchases, or you would simply like to know which type of produce has the highest pesticide residues—and which do not—the following guide from the Environmental Working Group will help. The following foods have the most and the least amount of pesticide residues on them. Usually, foods with protective layers are the least contaminated.

12 Most Contaminated

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

12 Least Contaminated

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya


Year after year, apples rank number two on the list. Apples’ protective effects are due to their high concentration of anti-inflammatory flavonoids such as quercetin and catechin. However, this fruit is typically heavily sprayed with pesticides that can be found even in apple juice and applesauce. Buying organic apples will keep you and your family healthier.

Organic farming doesn’t usually provide more nutritional benefits but they aren’t full of toxic pesticides. I typically eat a mix of both. I’m a big believer in moderation. Having foods that aren’t organic and have higher concentrations of pesticides isn’t always bad, it’s more about how regularly you eat them. Like anything, it’s a constant build up in your system that can lead to constant toxicity, which in theory could lead to fatal diseases like cancer. Organics can also be a little pricey, depending on where you live and the type of produce that you buy.

I taught a boot camp back in Winnipeg before I moved to Toronto and we made nutrition counseling mandatory with our training. That’s why I did the same with Busy Bee Fitness Experts. That’s the only wait to achieve results with a well-balanced lifestyle.

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