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Posted on: May 2 2018

Choosing organic food whenever we can is an important way to reduce our intake of pesticides that are found in our food. Growing your own food (and being aware of what the seeds, soil and water you are using may contain) is a fantastic way to get more organic food in our diet. And being aware of the foods that are found to have the most pesticides is also helpful when the budget doesn’t quite stretch far enough to buy everything else that we can’t grow ourselves.

The Friends of The Earth received a grant from the The City of Yarra in 2011 to analyse the Australian data from 2000-2011. Below is a list of the most highly pesticided foods in Australia at that time. (The testing of pesticide residues is only carried out sporadically however, and not across the full range of food groups, so the list is an approximation only).

Most of these foods have really fantastic nutrient profiles, so it’s still really important to include them in your diet. Consider growing them yourself, paying the extra to get organic, or visiting local farmer’s markets where you can find out for yourself what pesticides are used (if any) on their particular crops. Choosing foods that are in season also can reduce the cost.

Top 20 Australian Foods with the most Pesticide Detections 2000-2011

Apples                  15.2%

Wheat                  13.2%

Strawberries       10%

Pears                    9.5%

Grapes                 6.4%

Lettuce                4.1%

Nectarine            3.7%

Peaches               2.3%

Bread                   2.1%

Bran                      1.8%

Biscuits                1.6%

Tea (imported)   1.6%

Barley                   1.4%

Tomatoes            1.3%

Apricots               1.2%

Canola                 1.1%

Flour                     1.1%

Carrots                 0.8%

Plums                   0.8%

Green beans       0.8%

Other                    20%


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