Would you like a side of pesticide with your juicy apple? If you are consuming non-organic apples you might just be getting that. According to the Environmental Working Group, 92% of conventionally grown apples contained 2 or more pesticide residues.
That to me is an alarming amount. Not only are pesticides toxic to human health, but they are damaging to the environment. Pesticides were created to kill living organisms such as plants, insects and fungi that can be categorized as “pests.”
The U.S government has linked pesticides to nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone system disruption and skin, eye and lung irritation! Scary stuff!
Every year the Environment Working Group analyses approximately 100,000 produce reports from the USDA and FDA. They rank them by the likelihood of being consistently contaminated with a significant amount of pesticides at the highest levels.
The great things is all this information is presented in a user-friendly guide on the EWG site. This helps consumers make educated decisions on which fruits and vegetables they want to purchase.
In a perfect world, everyone would be able to afford organic produce, but sadly not everyone can. By not purchasing fruits and vegetables form the “dirty dozen” list, you are significantly lowering your pesticide exposure.
- Apples: Of all the samples of apples tested 97.8 percent tested positive for pesticides; and they registered the second-highest number of pesticides containing combinations of up to 56 different chemicals
- Celery: 96 percent of the celery analyzed tested positive for pesticides where 90 percent of the celery samples contained multiple pesticides. A single celery sample was contaminated with 13 different chemicals.
- Strawberries: One single sample of strawberries,13 different pesticides were discovered. Gross- I love strawberries.
- Peaches: They were found to be the most treated produce containing up to 57 different chemicals; and it was discovered that 85.6 percent of peaches contain 2 or more pesticide residues.
- Spinach: One of the vegetables to retain pesticide combinations.
- Nectarines (imported): Every sample of imported nectarines tested positive for some kind of pesticide and 90.8 percent of them contained 2 or more pesticide residues.
- Grapes (imported): On a single sample of imported grapes, 14 different combinations of pesticides were discovered and on domestic grapes 13.
- Sweet Bell Peppers: Nearly 69.4 of the sweet bell peppers tested contained multiple pesticides and a single sample contained 11 different types of chemicals. Side note, hot bell peppers have been contaminated with 97 different pesticides
- Potatoes: 94 percent of potatoes have been sprayed with some form of pesticides.
- Blueberries (domestic): No information was reported
- Lettuce: I consider lettuce greens, so it was discovered lettuce was treated with 66 different pesticides
- Kale/Collard Greens: It was found that a single sample of greens contained 10 different chemicals and was treated with up to 66 different pesticides.
Raspberries contain 51 different chemicals; 97.2 percent of plums tested positive for pesticides; 92.9 percent of cilantro tested positive for pesticides as well as 70.1 percent of cilantro samples contained multiple pesticides; and cucumbers have been known to be treated with as many as 68 pesticides.
So there you have it: the most toxic fruits and vegetables. Consider buying organic when purchasing any produce on the dirty dozen list.
The EWG claims the following vegetables are least likely to test positive for pesticide residues:
- sweet corn
- sweet peas
- sweet potatoes
The following fruits are least likely to test positive for pesticide residues:
- domestic cantaloupe
Fruit and veggies that have a non-edible skin can contain less pesticides. Just remember to wash the skin with soap and water before peeling or cutting into any fruit or veggie. Just water is not good enough anymore. When you cut into an unwashed fruit or vegetable, whatever was on the skin can contaminate the inside of the produce.
Next time you are out grocery shopping, bring both lists above which can be found on the EWG site, and see how you can reduce the amount of pesticides that you and your family ingest!
Source: Environmental Working Group
chemicals, fruit, local farms, organic food, pesticides, veggies