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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - The Dirtiest Foods in Your Refrigerator
Thursday, April 25 2013, 06:48 AM EDT
The Dirtiest Foods in Your Refrigerator
DAYTON -- This was one list Jaimie Abbott was not happy to see.

"A little upset. I think a lot of people eat this on a daily basis," said Abbott.

These are the 12 dirtiest fruits and vegetables, according to The Environmental Working Group:

Apples
Strawberries
Grapes
Celery
Peaches
Spinach
Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cucumbers
Potatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers

Ranked by the highest pesticide residues, apples topped the annual "Dirty Dozen" list for the third year in a row.

"I eat apples everyday," said Abbott.

"I know fruits that are really bad like strawberries and apples you're eating the entire skin of those fruits that absorb all the pesticides they get sprayed on there," said George Mertz, who has been farming for about five years.

He says he never uses any pesticides because of their potential health risks.

"Organic apples taste better," said Mertz. "They're going to cost a little more but I think it's worth it for your long-term health. Maybe you're avoiding doctors bills in 10 to 30 years by eating organic apples now."

The Environmental Working Group also released some of the cleanest produce.

Corn
Onions
Pineapple
Avocados
Cabbage
Sweet peas (frozen, since they’re more readily available)
Papayas
Mangoes
Asparagus
Eggplant
Kiwi
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe
Sweet potatoes
Mushrooms

"I think what separates them is whether or not they have some sort of outer layer to protect them or not," said Mertz. "Spinach is on the dirty list and it's going to absorb whatever gets on them and you're going to eat it."

Farmers say you can know what you're buying by knowing who you're buying it from.

"I think if you go to the farmers market you can find more vendors that have chemical-free vegetables than you can at the grocery store," said Mark Ewalt, who has been a farmer for two years.

"I think I'm going to exchange my apples from mangoes from now on," said Abbott.

Click here to see the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Connect with ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Wale Aliyu on Facebook and Twitter.The Dirtiest Foods in Your Refrigerator

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