The Environmental Working Group just released the annual dirty dozen list – a top twelve comprising the produces with the highest levels of pesticide residues. Naturally, the produce community is enraged by the classification, arguing that the data is misleading and might influence people into giving up on a steady vegetable diet.
All the fruits and vegetables featured on both lists, and many others of their kind, were tested for a broad sample of pesticides.
The Dirty Dozen
According to EWG’s 2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, strawberries have the highest levels of pesticide residue in them.
Moreover, a Pesticide Data Program survey found that all conventionally grown produce that are still covered with pesticide or pesticide residue when they reach the shelves are not dangerous for consumers as the amount of the substance is always far below the limits imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
This year, pears and potatoes made it to the list while cucumbers and cherry tomatoes managed to clean up their act. Here is the complete list of fruits and vegetables that, according to EWG, are covered in high levels of pesticide residue.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
The Clean Fifteen
The EWG’s Guide didn’t want to let shoppers run around aimlessly through supermarket corridors, trying to guess the healthiest, pesticide-free products, so they also compiled a list of fifteen products that don’t contain any pesticide residue.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Frozen Peas
- Honeydew Melon
The Association warns consumers to try and buy organic papaya, sweet corn, and summer squash as a small amount of these fruits and vegetables come from genetically modified seeds.
Will Washing Eliminate all Traces of Pesticides?
EWG examined all fruits and vegetables as they are eaten, meaning that the strawberries were washed and the potatoes were peeled before being tested. Moreover, most plants absorb pesticides systematically, so washing or peeling will not be very helpful.
By publishing yearly dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists, EWG is trying to help Americans learn more about the dangers of eating fruit and vegetables laced with pesticides.
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