2024’s ‘Dirty Dozen’: The 12 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides—and tips for enjoying them safely

2024’s ‘Dirty Dozen’: The 12 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides—and tips for enjoying them safely Fruits and vegetables are key components of a healthy diet, but it is just as important that they’re safe to eat — meaning clean of dirt, grime and pesticides. Each year since 2004, the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that aims to make the environment healthier, ranks the non-organic produce with the most pesticides that they call The Dirty Dozen. The EWG analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. “This year, EWG determined that 75 percent of all conventional fresh produce sampled had residues of potentially harmful pesticides,” according to the EWG. “But for items on the Dirty Dozen, a whopping 95 percent of samples contain pesticides.” “Some pesticides have been linked in human studies with problems including miscarriages, birth defects, and learning or developmental disabilities in children,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strawberries and spinach claimed the top two spots again on this year’s list at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. And grapes jumped from No. 8 on the list in 2023 all the way up to No. 4 in 2024. Here’s the 2024 ‘Dirty Dozen’ This is the complete list of the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticides this year. Strawberries Spinach Kale, collard & mustard greens Grapes Peaches Pears Nectarines Apples Bell & hot peppers Cherries Blueberries Green beans 3 simple steps to clean your produce Thoroughly wash your hands and the necessary materials for preparation, including cutting boards and utensils, before and after you clean your produce, according to Once your hands are clean, Carissa Galloway, a registered dietitian nutritionist and a Premier Protein Nutrition Consultant and Personal Trainer, suggested to CNBC Make It that you to follow these steps: Hold the produce under cold water in the sink Using a clean paper towel, remove all dirt and grit from the produce. Some people also use a clean brush that is specifically dedicated to cleaning produce to do this step. Use a clean paper towel to dry the produce if you’re not planning to eat it right away in order to preserve its ripeness. Leafy greens can also be dried using a salad spinner. It’s not necessary to use baking soda or vinegar to clean your produce, though it has become quite popular, Galloway told CNBC Make It in February. The CDC strongly recommends against using soap, detergent or commercial washes to clean your fruits and vegetables. “There are other options and theories out there,” Galloway said, “but truly the best option is just simply washing [produce] under cold water.” Want to make extra money outside of your day job?  Sign up for CNBC’s new online course How to Earn Passive Income Online to learn about common passive income streams, tips to get started and real-life success stories. Register today and save 50% with discount code EARLYBIRD. Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

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