Top 5 vegetables available in Hyderabad that have the most pesticides.

vegetables with high pestisides

According to the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, and the Agricultural Ministry of Telangana, vegetables sold at wholesale and retail markets across the city have more than 40 different pesticide residues which are beyond permissible limits. The most pesticide residues are found in okra, spinach, eggplants, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, brinjal, radish, tomatoes, hot pepper, and kale. While there are many methods for pesticide application, farmers’ direct spraying is the primary source of contaminant produce.

Why do farmers use Pesticides?

For a long time, farmers used traditional and normal practices to control pests that envisage crops but because of the rising demand and poor soil quality over the years, farmers are now habituated to pesticides and fertilizers. The use of pesticides enables vegetable growers to boost their crop supply at the time of harvest. Pesticides also improve the shelf life of vegetables. But with an increase of rampant usage of chemical pesticides in hope of better yield, the problem arises at the cost of health impact.

Vegetables with most pesticide & insecticide residues

1. Spinach 

Vegetables that have most pesticides - spinach

Spinach is known for being a rich nutrient source of iron and vitamin C. Because of its all-seasonal growth, spinach is one of the majorly consumed leafy vegetables in Asia, especially in south India, making it a staple for healthy living. The latest test reports by the department of agriculture, India shows that non-organic spinach grown in any area contains a higher amount of pesticide residues by weight than any other vegetable crop. To be more precise, 97% of spinach samples tested by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) contain pesticide residues, including permethrin, cycloate and sethoxydim which eventually lead to chronic and nervous problems. 

However, spinach is an essential nutrient source with rich amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, folate, and iron. Organic spinach can be a better alternative to consume as it will be almost free from any pesticides, insecticides, and other fertilizers that play a vital role in growing non-organic leaf vegetables. Wash spinach leaves thoroughly with fresh water before cooking or freezing them. Although washing cannot entirely eliminate pesticide contaminants, it significantly reduces contamination levels.

2. Okra

Vegetables that have most pesticides -Oakra

Okra is one of the important vegetable crops grown in India for centuries. After the collective data from farmers and test samples of different okra crops, the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad reportedly said that okra was found to be the most contaminated of all vegetables, with traces of 18 organophosphate insecticides, which can permanently deactivate an enzyme necessary for nerve function. 

Okra crop is naturally more affected by numerous insects and pests. The commercial production of okra heavily relies on pesticides from the organochlorine, organophosphate, carbamate, pyrethroid, and neonicotinoid families for pest control. An excessive amount of these usages on crops may damage the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system. 

However, Okra is full of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and other nutrients that help lower the risk of significant medical illnesses like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Magnesium and Folate can also be found in okra in good amounts which are helpful for the immune system and nerve function. According to the Centre of Science and Environment, washing with 5% of salt water before cooking can reduce pesticide contamination in Okra. Consumption of organic Okra can also be a better alternative if you are more health conscious about it.

3. Cauliflower

Vegetables that have most pesticides - Cauliflower

Conventional farming or also known as traditional farming is indeed a big advantage for cauliflower crops. The increase in organic awareness made farmers return to traditional farming with less use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Some of the most common pesticides used for cauliflower are cypermethrin, profenofos, Indoxicarb, and chlorpyrifos which are harmful to the respiratory and reproductive function of our body. Pesticide residues from cauliflower can also enhance type 2 diabetes and lung cancer in humans. 

Although cauliflower consists of fewer pesticide contaminants, when tested for EPA limit, it is identified that cauliflower had more than three different insecticides which are essential to reduce leaf infection caused by bugs, larvae, and caterpillars. However, all the pesticide and insecticide contaminants mentioned can be reduced by different methods making them more edible to eat. Soaking in 5% of warm salt water and vinegar for a few minutes before cooking will be a viable option to cook. Picking organic or farm-fresh cauliflowers is also a better alternative for your health and it also supports eco-friendly farming.

4. Eggplant


One of the most consumed vegetables in numerous Indian cuisines is the Indian eggplant and its variants. The aubergine, often known as an eggplant, offers fiber and a variety of nutrients. Serving eggplant can provide at least 5% of the required daily nutrition diet. It consists of rich amounts of Fiber, copper manganese, B-6 vitamins,s and other many minerals. In addition, eggplants are a great source of antioxidants. 

Eggplants are favorite hosts for multiple species like white flies, flea beetles, hornworms, and other insects which suck and chew the crop reducing the harvest. The common insecticides and pesticides used in eggplant production are bifenthrin, malathion, spinosad, and imidacloprid. All these contaminants can cause throat irritation, nausea, and mild paralysis. 

Consuming organic eggplants which are grown without any fertilizer and pesticide contaminants is beneficial for better health as even a minimal amount of eggplant contaminants can also lead to skin infections, itchiness, muscle pains, and headaches. To reduce pesticide contaminants, soak eggplants in warm water for 5-10 minutes and clean them by adding a pinch of baking soda to the water.

5. Cabbage


Cabbage is also one of the most commonly consumed vegetables across Telangana state. According to the Department of Agriculture (DOA), Hyderabad, the majority of the state district farmers have been using pesticides and insecticides which don’t have any crop labels. Cabbage is commonly affected by more than 20 different types of pests and insects making it unfit for consumption. In the ecosystem of the Hyderabad cabbage crop, more than 30 pesticide and insecticide residues are identified by the DOA and the misuse of over spraying is the biggest cause. 

Organochlorines, spinosad, organophosphates, pyrethroids, and fungicides are major groups of pesticides used on average which are harmful to the nervous system, and kidneys and also lead to paralysis and seizures. However, cabbage is also considered a pack of nutrients and antioxidants which are good for your cardiac and digestion issues. Soaking chopped cabbage in 5% of salt water for 10 min and stir-frying on a pan for 5 minutes before cooking can remove maximum pesticide and insecticide contaminants that are potential harm to you.

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Eating fresh vegetables can promote overall health and well-being because they are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Additionally, many vegetables contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, which can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 

Purity Prayag’s  Fruits & Vegetables –  Our supply of veggies is from farmers or farmer producing groups  who grow fruits and  vegetables with organic practices – natural, time-tested and  chemical-free methods. The produce is directly shipped to our own stores with no middlemen ensuring zero secondary contamination to prolong the shelf life. Purity Prayag’s stores across Hyderabad stock farm fresh fruits and vegetables every Wednesday & Saturday. Visit a Purity Prayag organic store near you to make a shift to a healthier lifestyle.