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Archive for March 29, 2016
We are encouraged to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily for health and nutrition; but the items we buy are often heavily coated with pesticides residue. A quick rinse them doesn’t remove all of them; a sustained rinse under cold water with a light scrub from a vegetable brush is better. We use this special antimicrobial sponge; it’s easier to use than a conventional vegetable brush.
One reason to buy organic produce is to avoid these potentially harmful chemicals—especially for children and people with compromised health. Animal studies indicate toxicity that disrupts the normal functioning of the nervous and endocrine system, and increases risks of cancer.
Each year the Environmental Working Group releases a list of produce with the most pesticides—The Dirty Dozen—and the least pesticides—The Clean 15. Here’s the Executive Summary of the most recent report.
Pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration are analyzed, and result in rankings for the most popular fresh produce items. Blueberries and snap peas showed sharply different results for domestic-grown and imported. Here’s the list of the 50 most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables.
THE DIRTY DOZEN
These are the results of the 2015 ranking of the produce with the greatest amount of pesticide residue. The list actually shows 15, not 12: The last three items were next in line and have been added to the list because of their popularity. Foods are listed in order of pesticide amount.
Top: An apple a day…is covered with residual pesticide. Photo courtesy US Apples. Bottom: Celery has more pesticide residue than any other vegetable. Photo courtesy Good Eggs.
Sweet Bell Peppers
Snap Peas (Imported)
+ Hot Peppers
+ Collard Greens
Avocado is the fruit with the least pesticide; cabbage is the most residual-free vegetable. (Photos: Avocado Board and Good Eggs).
THE CLEAN FIFTEEN
These fruits and vegetables are listed in order of least residue.
Sweet peas (frozen)
DOWNLOAD A POCKET COPY OF THE GUIDE AT EWG.com.
*A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the U.S. is produced from genetically engineered seedstock. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid GE produce.
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