About EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, updated every year since 2004, ranks pesticide contamination of 47 popular fruits and vegetables. The guide is based on results of more than 38,800 samples of produce tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration. It is important to note that the samples are tested for pesticides after they have been prepared to be eaten. This means the produce is thoroughly washed and, when applicable, peeled. After these preparations, pesticide residues are still detected on many of the fruits and veggies.

Every day, consumers rely on EWG's Shopper's Guide to help them make the best choices for their families and reduce their exposures to toxic pesticides.

EWG's groundbreaking work on pesticide policy

Since its inception in 1993, EWG has fought for consumers' rights to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.

EWG's very first report in 1993, Pesticides in Children's Foods, played a pivotal role in Congress passing the Food Quality Protection Act two years later. The law gave the Environmental Protection Agency the regulatory authority to ensure the pesticides used in our food system are not harming our most vulnerable populations – infants and children. Subsequent EWG research found carcinogenic pesticides in baby food and weed killers in Midwestern tap water.

EWG is proud to have played a role in this landmark legislation, but our work is far from done.

Conventional agriculture continues to use large quantities of toxic pesticides. As a result, USDA researchers detect pesticide residues on much of the fruits and vegetables they test. This is why EWG updates our Shopper's Guide each year. As long as these chemicals remain in use and turn up on produce, we'll keep publishing the Shopper's Guide, and investigating pesticides and other chemicals that can harm health, especially the health of children.

Since EWG first launched the Shopper's Guide, it has received tens of millions of website visits, been covered in top publications and touted by healthy living experts. Check out some of our endorsements below.

Expert testimony

The American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to pediatricians when consulting with parents about reducing pesticide exposures in their children’s diets.

Dr. Philip Landrigan

“Even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants, babies and young children, so when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children's exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables. EWG's guide can help by giving consumers easy-to-use advice when shopping for their families.”

Dr. Philip Landrigan is the dean of global health and director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Landrigan was the principal author of the pivotal 1993 National Academy of Sciences study, “Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children,” that led Congress to pass the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, which set safety standards for pesticides on foods.

Dr. Chensheng (Alex) Lu

“Research that I and others have conducted clearly shows children can dramatically reduce the levels of pesticides in their bodies by eating organic fruits and veggies, or those conventional versions that regularly have far fewer pesticide residues. However, when choosing an all-organic diet is not an option for many parents, one way to give children a healthy diet with plenty of fresh produce is to consult EWG’s Shopper’s Guide. This guide helps parents to choose between organic and conventional options at the grocery stores.”

Dr. Chensheng (Alex) Lu, is a nationally recognized professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Lu has conducted numerous studies on the impact of pesticide exposure through diet on people, including children.

Dr. Andrew Weil

“I am pleased to have an ongoing partnership with EWG, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health. Specifically, I am honored to help EWG spread the word about one of its most valuable pieces of research – the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.”

Dr. Andrew Weil is a renowned medical expert on natural health and wellness, and is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.

Laurie David

“EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce recognizes that many people who want to reduce their exposure to pesticides in produce cannot find or afford an all-organic diet. It helps them seek out conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that tend to test low for pesticide residues. When they want foods whose conventional versions test high for pesticides, they can make an effort to locate organic versions.”

Laurie David is an environmental advocate and board member of the Natural Resources Defense Council. She produced the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” and the film “Fed Up” about the obesity epidemic in the U.S.

Kris Carr

“Even if it’s not every time you get groceries, each organic purchase is a vote for better health and policies. The Environmental Working Group has a handy guide to the most chemical-heavy fruits and vegetables, the Dirty Dozen, and the least, the Clean Fifteen, when these foods are grown conventionally.”

Kris Carr is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, and health and wellness advocate, and a cancer thriver. Carr directed the well-received documentary, “Crazy Sexy Cancer” about her own battle with the disease.

Marion Nestle

“On the personal side: If you want to avoid eating pesticides, you can stick with the EWG Clean Fifteen. Washing produce before eating it is always a good idea even if it doesn’t get rid of all of the chemicals – USDA studies are done on washed produce. When in doubt, buy organic.”

Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard professor, nutrition and food studies at New York University. Nestle is a noted expert in the area of food policy and an award-winning author of numerous books on food and food policy.

Mark Bittman

“If I were of child-rearing age now, or the parent of young children, I would make every effort to buy organic food. If I couldn’t do that, I would rely on the Environmental Working Group’s Guide To Pesticides In Produce. Their Dirty Dozen lists those fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues, and their Clean Fifteen notes those that are lowest. But regardless of age, we need to stay awake and remember that the dangers of pesticides are as real now as they were half a century ago.”

Mark Bittman is a nationally recognized authority in the area of food, a former columnist for The New York Times and the author of more than a dozen cookbooks, including the best-selling “How to Cook Everything.”

Dr. Mark Hyman

“Eat organic whenever you can. Follow the Environmental Working Group’s list of Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to identify the worst and least contaminated fruits and vegetables.”

Dr. Mark Hyman has dedicated his career to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illness through a groundbreaking, whole-systems approach known as functional medicine. A family physician and five-time No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, he is an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator and advocate in his field.

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