The Dirty Dozen: Supermarkets' Most Contaminated Produce

Mar 14, 2017, 00:41
The Dirty Dozen: Supermarkets' Most Contaminated Produce

A new report is warning consumers that many conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are contaminated with pesticides. This is down 6.6 percentage points from past year. It ranks the best and worst produce when it comes to pesticide content. They also control organisms that carry tropical diseases such as mosquitoes.

The Alliance for Food and Farming, a non-profit organization which represents organic and conventional farmers of fruits and vegetables, says consumers need not worry. The program targets foods most commonly eaten by children, collects thousands of samples nationwide, tests them for pesticide residues, and annually releases its findings to the public and government agencies.

Spinach jumped up four spots on this year's Dirty Dozen™ listputting it in second place for produce with the highest levels of pesticide residue, just behind strawberries. Spinach samples, meanwhile, had an average of twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.

The strawberries you're eating probably have pesticides on them.

The USDA doesn't test every food every year.

Our immune system can be affected by products contaminated with pesticides.

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In this year's list, pears follow strawberries, which contain the most pesticides, according to the EWG, and then spinach, nectarines, apples and peaches. The group developed 2 lists. Those 15 are sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.

Sweet corn and avocados topped the EWG's Clean Fifteen list of foods with the least amount of pesticides. The fruits that have the highest levels of contamination are strawberries.

Only 1 percent of the sweet corn and avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.

Nutrition experts support the findings and even use the list to make recommendations to their own patients. "This is troubling because there is very little research on the health effects of ingesting multiple pesticides". "If you can't buy organic, the Shopper's Guide will steer you to conventionally grown produce that is the lowest in pesticides".

"Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they're grown", said EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder, "but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic". Did you know that strawberries are contaminated with pesticides?