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Eating with a Conscience

Choosing organic food to protect health and the environment

 

The chart below provides a summary of the health and environmental effects of the pesticides with established tolerances (domestic or import) for 43 commonly consumed fruits and vegetables, based on data from the US Deptarment of Agriculture. Crops with an asterisk (*) are widely reported by the media to be "clean," or low residue, crops. Its purpose is to highlight the impacts of the conventional, chemical-intensive agricultural system - in addition to pesticide residues. In addition to habitat loss due to the expansion of agricultural and urban areas, the database shows that there are pesticides used in chemically-intensive agriculture that are considered toxic to honey bees and other insect pollinators.

Fruits and Vegetables

Almonds
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Amaranth
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Apples
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Artichokes
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Asparagus*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Avocado*
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Bananas
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Barley
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Basil
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Beans and Peas
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Beets
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Bell Peppers
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Blueberries
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Broccoli
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Buckwheat
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Cabbage*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Cantaloupe*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Carrots
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Cauliflower
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Celery
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Chard
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Cherries
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Chestnuts
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Chives
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Cilantro
X
X
not documented
X
X
X
X
Coffee
X
X
not documented
X
X
X
X
Collards/Kale
X
X
not documented
not documented
X
X
X
Corn*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Cranberries
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Cucumber
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Dill
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Eggplant*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Figs
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Ginger
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Grapefruit*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Grapes
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Green Beans
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Guava
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Hazelnuts
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Honeydew*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Hot Peppers
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Kiwi Fruit*
X
X
X
not documented
X
X
X
Lemon
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Lettuce
X
X
X
not documented
X
X
X
Mango*
X
X
not documented
not documented
X
X
X
Millet
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Nectarines
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Onion*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Oats
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Oranges
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
not documented
X
not documented
X
Peaches
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Peanuts
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Pears
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Peas*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Pecans
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Pineapple*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Pistachios
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Plums
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Potatoes
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Quinoa
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Red Raspberry
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Radishes
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Rice
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Rosemary
X
X
not documented
not documented
X
not documented
X
Rye
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Sage
X
X
not documented
not documented
X
not documented
X
Soy beans
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Spinach
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Strawberries
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Sugar cane
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X
Summer Squash
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Sweet Potato*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Tomato
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Walnuts
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Watermelon*
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Wheat
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Wild Rice
X
X
X
X
X
not documented
X

Winter Squash

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
 

* Designates a "clean" or low residue crop.

Looking for information on pesticide residues? See Pesticide Action Network's What's On My Food database.

1. Farmer/Worker Acute Poison: EPA Toxicity Class I (highly hazardous) and Class II (moderately hazardous) pesticide(s) have established tolerances for this crop. These pesticides create a hazardous work environment for people who work and/or live on or near farms. See additional information on improving conditions for farmworkers.
2. Farmer/Worker Chronic Poison: Pesticide(s) shown to be carcinogens, kidney/liver, reproductive and developmental toxicants, nervous and immune system poisons and/or endocrine disruptors have established tolerances for this crop. Exposure to these pesticides is linked to long-term health effects for people who work and/or live on or near farms.See additional information on improving conditions for farmworkers.
3. Stream Contaminant: Pesticide(s) identified by the U.S. Geological Survey as "detected most frequently" in streams (more than 10% of all streams sampled) have established tolerances for this crop; or cited as a contaminant in EPA registration documents.
4. Ground Water Contaminant:
Pesticide(s) identified by the U.S. Geological Survey as "detected most frequently" in ground water (more than 2% of all ground water sampled) have established tolerances for this crop; or cited as a contaminant in EPA registration documents.
5. Wildlife Poison:
Pesticides identified by EPA to be toxic (moderately to highly toxic), birds, fish, aquatic organisms and other wildlife have established tolerances for this crop.
6. Long-Range Transport:
Pesticides associated with long range transport have established tolerances for this crop. Pesticides with certain chemical properties are able to travel great distances by air, water and through the food chain. They contaminate communities and ecosystems hundreds to thousands of miles from their application site.
7. Toxic to Pollinators: Pesticides identified by EPA to be toxic (modertately to highly toxic,) to pollinators have established tolerances for this crop. See additional information on how to BEE Protective.

All tolerance data is based on the Environmental Protection Agency's Tolerances by Commodity, Crop Group, or Crop Subgroup Index (last updated July 2009). For more information, see our Methodology page.


 

 

Eating with a conscience.

Eating with a conscience.

Eating with a conscience.