The Environmental Working Group in the US releases a guide to pesticide levels in foods in the US every year. We do obviously have different levels of pesticides in foods in the EU, based on different regulation, but I think this guide gives us an idea of what foods to try and purchase on an organic basis if we can. The testing the EWG undertakes is based on how you would consume the item of food – so they test a banana without the skin, blueberries washed in water etc.
The resulting list of higher pesticide content foods is known as the “Dirty Dozen”. The EWG also have a list of foods known as the “Clean Fifteen”, referring to the foods found with the lowest levels of pesticides.
You can view the Dirty Dozen list for 2019 here, and the Clean Fifteen for 2019 here. We can’t always buy organic in Ireland, but I personally find this list helpful in knowing what foods are structurally more likely to absorb pesticides than others – I’ll always buy organic strawberries now!
The EWG also have a very useful app that rates over 200,000 food and cosmetic products based on chemical content – their database is US based, but you’ll find a lot of products available in the EU on there. A handy resource if you want to know how chemical-laden the skin products you use really are. For example, if you search for Garnier, their Micellar Cleansing Water has a good rating of 1, whereas their Nutrisse Permanent Haircolor is given a rating of 8. You can obtain further information on each product and individual ratings based on allergy concern, cancer concern and developmental concern, plus ratings on all the product ingredients. Search for “EWG Healthy Living” on the App Store.