The Seven Most Toxic Fruits and Vegetables


If you are on a budget – and who isn’t nowadays? – you may be tempted to buy conventionally raised fruits and vegetables since the organic counterparts are more expensive. Before you do, however, you may want to take a look at the list below of some of the most toxic fruits and vegetables, the ones you are mostly likely to be exposed to pesticide residues through eating.


Apples top the list of the most contaminated fruit if conventionally raised. Part of this is because of the diphenylamine (DPA), the chemical which growers will use to coat the apples to prevent the skins from darkening while they are in storage. DPA has been banned in the European Union because of its potential to form carcinogenic compounds.


Strawberries are grown from extremely low-lying plants and to keep these plants free of diseases and pest, they are sprayed heavily with chemicals like methyl bromide, chloropicrin and Telone. All three of these chemicals have been linked to serious health problems like endocrine disruption, developmental problems and even cancer.


Grapes which are conventionally raised are also heavily sprayed with chemicals to keep them free of disease and pests, so much so that a single grape can test positive for up to 15 different pesticides! One of these chemicals, an insecticide called chlorpyrifos, is of particular concern since long-term exposure is linked to poor or delayed neurological development in children.


Celery may marketed as a health food, but if you buy this vegetable when it has been conventionally raised, you can be almost sure that you will be exposing yourself to chemicals like dicloran and acephate. Both of these pesticides have been linked in multiple studies to the development of certain forms of cancer.


Peach trees, by their nature, are subject to a variety of diseases and pest. To help prevent this, conventionally raised peach trees (and their fruit) are subject to spraying with a whole array of chemicals. It has been shown that nearly 96% of all peaches raised in this matter test positive for pesticide residues.


Spinach is a great superfood, but when raised conventionally, it is often saturated with pesticides such as acetamiprid and imidacloprid, which belong to a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. Pesticides in this family are known neurotoxins and have also been banned by the European Union due to their effect on the developing brains of children.


Cucumbers are also subject to high amounts of spraying. Among the nearly 86 pesticides found on cucumbers when tested were chemicals which are known neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors and even known or suspected carcinogens. Of particular concern is a fungicide known as carbendazim, linked to cancer development.

So even if you are budget-conscious, try to at least buy the fruits and vegetables listed above organically. You may be spending a bit more, but you will also be saving yourself and your family from exposure to a variety of seriously dangerous chemicals.

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Meghan Telpner
Meghan has written many articles about health subjects as a journalist and as a freelance writer. As a reporter, she often covered hospital and clinic events/news and wrote news and features about health topics relevant to people in the community.