Dirty Dozen 2022: Produce with the most and least pesticides

Produce with highest (L) and lowest (R) levels of pesticides, according to report

(CNN)Strawberries and spinach continue to top the annual list of the "Dirty Dozen" fruits and veggies that contain the highest levels of pesticides, followed by three greens -- kale, collard and mustard -- nectarines, apples, grapes, and bell and hot peppers, according to the Environmental Working Group's 2022 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Cherries came in eighth this year on the list of the 12 most contaminated foods, with peaches, pears, celery and tomatoes rounding out the list.
    But don't stop eating these foods, which are full of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants needed to battle chronic disease, experts say.
      "If the things you love to eat are on the 'Dirty Dozen' list, we recommend buying organic versions when you can," said Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist at the EWG with expertise in toxic chemicals and pesticides.
      "Several peer-reviewed studies and clinical trials have looked at what happens when people switch to a fully organic diet," she said. "Concentrations and measurements of pesticides decrease very rapidly."
      Consumers can also consult EWG's "Clean Fifteen" -- a list of produce with the least amount of pesticides. Nearly 70% of the fruits and veggies on the list had no detectable pesticide residues, while just under 5% had residues of two or more pesticides, the report said.
        Avocados had the lowest levels of pesticides among the 46 foods tested, followed by sweet corn, pineapple, onions and papaya.

        Multiple pesticides

        Issued yearly since 2004, the EWG report uses US Department of Agriculture test data to rank 46 foods that are the most and least contaminated with pesticide residues. The USDA staffers prepare the food as consumers would -- washing, peeling or scrubbing -- before testing each item.
        The USDA does not sample all 46 foods each year, so EWG pulls results from the most recent testing period. Strawberries, for example, have not been tested by the USDA since 2016, Temkin said,
        Many samples of the 46 fruits and vegetables included in the report tested positive for multiple pesticides, including insecticides and fungicides. Over 90% of "strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and