Though the risks of consuming minuscule amounts of pesticides from food are unclear, you may still wish to minimize exposure, especially when it comes to children, who are more vulnerable to pesticide toxicity. Buying organic is the best way to do this, but because these foods cost more, it can be hard on your budget to eat a 100 percent organic diet. You might instead opt to limit your organic purchases to those fruits and vegetables that tend to have the most pesticide residues and fill the rest of your basket with conventional foods.
The nonprofit Environmental Working Group ranks fruits and vegetables, from most to least contaminated, based on testing by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Apples, strawberries, grapes, celery and peaches top its 2013 Dirty Dozen list. The Clean Fifteen—those with the least residues—include sweet corn, onions, pineapple, avocado, cabbage and sweet peas.