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Maybe “An Apple a Day” Is a Bad Idea

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0b013e318238332c
Departments: News, Notes and Tips

In the 2011 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce (, the Environmental Working Group provides valuable information related to pesticide levels in fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, some of our dietary favorites have the highest levels of pesticides. Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables certainly outweighs the risks involved with pesticide exposures. Still, information that will assist in guiding and making safe dietary decisions is valuable to nurses, nursing students, and nurse educators.

Ninety-eight percent of conventionally grown apples, staples for a healthy diet, contained consistently high levels of pesticides. Other fruits with pesticide levels of concern to consumers include strawberries (with residues of up to 13 different pesticides), peaches, imported grapes, imported nectarines, and domestically grown blueberries. In addition, celery showed residues of 57 different pesticides. Fruits and vegetables showing the lowest amount of pesticide residue include onions, seed corn, pineapples, mangoes, domestic cantaloupe, kiwis, grapefruits, and watermelon. The list is a valuable resource for nursing students and practitioners who are providing nutritional information to assist clients and consumers in making healthy dietary sources.

Source: Cook K. Environmental Working Group (EWG). Message posted June 16, 2011, to electronic mailing list. Available at Accessed June 20, 2011.

Submitted by: Robin E. Pattillo, PhD, RN, CNL, News Editor at

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.