Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list of the top 12 produce items with the most pesticide residue (The Dirty Dozen) and a list of the 15 produce items with the least pesticide residue (The Clean Fifteen). Per the EWG, nearly 70 percent of the produce sold in the U.S. comes with pesticide residues, according to their analysis of test data from the Department of Agriculture for the 2019 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™.
Overall, the USDA found 225 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on popular fruits and vegetables Americans eat every day. Before testing, all produce was washed and peeled, just as people would prepare food for themselves, which shows that simple washing does not remove all pesticides.
I would recommend eating all of the Clean Fifteen that you want to save on your budget - these are not organic but low in pesticides. Then, try to save yourself 90% of pesticide exposure by eating organic versions of the Dirty Dozen.
Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. You may have seen the news about Kale making the dirty dozen. Organic Kale is very healthy and good for you. Non-organic kale is very heavily laden with pesticides. Try to buy organic kale when you can.
EWG'S CLEAN FIFTEEN FOR 2019
Frozen sweet peas
Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues.