Is Your Favorite Vegetable on The "Dirty Dozen" List?

Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen 2019: These Fruits & Veggies Have The Most Pesticides

Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen 2019: These Fruits & Veggies Have The Most Pesticides

"If this report from the Environmental Working Group has the effect of stoking fear in people around certain eating fruit and vegetables, it's having a very dire outcome", he said.

To put it together, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzes USDA data on the chemicals found on grocery store produce.

Several fruits and vegetables were found with relatively few pesticides, placing them on EWG's "Clean 15" list.

The EWG's analysis suggests that an astonishing 92 percent of kale samples had two or more pesticide residues detected, and a single sample could contain up to 18 different residues. The fruit gained its notorious status because of the United States Department of Agriculture concluding strawberries are most likely, among the tested produce, to retain pesticide residues even after being picked and washed.

Let's take a look at the highs and lows on this year's just-released list. Avocados topped that list, followed by sweet corn, pineapples, and frozen sweet peas.

Wondering how the EWG tests the produce?

In order of pesticide concentration, 2019's Dirty Dozen list is: strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.

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Researchers say consuming pesticides have been linked to health issues like cancer and fertility concerns.

Still, while EWG recommends that consumers buy organic versions of produce on its Dirty Dozen list when possible, it still advises eating fresh produce even if conventionally grown when organic is not available or too expensive.

Numerous pesticides detected by EWG have always been banned in the European Union and have been the subject of concern at the EPA-but the US has failed to take the chemicals off the market. Kale and spinach samples had, on average, 1.1 to 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop, says the EWG. "The main route of pesticide exposure for most Americans who do not live or work on or near farms is through their diet", says Carla Burns, an EWG research analyst.Eating fruits and vegetables that are free of pesticides is especially important for pregnant women and children, she adds.

Additionally, around 30 percent of the samples had 10 or most pesticides on them.

In fact, on the Clean Fifteen list, a mere six percent of samples had residue of two or more pesticides.

As in the past, this year EWG has expanded the Dirty Dozen list to highlight hot peppers, which do not meet our traditional ranking criteria but were found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.

Since 2004, the group - a nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental organization - has annually ranked pesticide contamination in popular fruits and vegetables for its Shopper's Guide, noting those with the highest and lowest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.

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