Strawberries top 2018's 'Dirty Dozen' fruits and veggies - again

Source Pexels

Source Pexels

It's springtime and many of us are craving colorful seasonal delights, like for example, a strawberry spinach salad, but strawberries and spinach both top the list when it comes to pesticide contamination. With EWG's 2018 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, you can choose healthy produce while minimizing unwanted doses of multiple toxic pesticides. Pineapple, onion, asparagus and eggplant all landed a spot on the "Clean Fifteen" list, which recognizes conventional foods that are low in pesticide residues.

Rinsing produce under tap water for 30 seconds is an effective way to get rid of pesticide residues, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, CNN reports.

The list focuses on conventionally grown produce.

"We absolutely could not grow strawberries or peaches or plumbs in our climate without the help of pesticides".

EWG also released its Clean Fifteen list which features fruits and vegetables that are "least likely to contain pesticide residues". This year the list includes, in descending order, strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and sweet bell peppers.

"One strawberry sample contained an astounding 22 pesticide residues", the EWG website says. And the EWG is warning shoppers that, even after washed or peeled, these fruits and vegetables may contain high pesticide residue.


Less than 1% of samples of avocados and sweet corn showed any detectable pesticides.

Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at EWG, said the point of the annual guide is to equip consumers with the knowledge and information they need to make the best purchases for their families - especially if they are trying to avoid pesticide residues in their foods. Researchers found 230 different species of pesticides and their residue on the produce sampled. And more than 80% of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbages tested negative for pesticide residues.

According to USApple, when making dietary choices, consumers should follow the advice of the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, who all say eat more fruits and vegetables.

"There is a reason pediatricians encourage parents to consult EWG's guide and take other steps to reduce their child's exposure pesticides", said Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NY.

"If you can not find or afford organic hot peppers, cook them, because pesticide levels typically diminish when food is cooked", the authors of the report noted. The study led to enactment of the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, which set safety standards for pesticides on foods.

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