Eating your fruits and vegetables is one of the most important action steps you can take to maintain good health, but their effects may be lessened when they are laced with harmful chemicals.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just released its list of the most pesticide-contaminated produce for the tenth year in a row. The Dirty Dozen report, part of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, helps shoppers shop smarter by highlighting the cleanest and dirtiest conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables.
Compiled from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s data on 48 fruits and vegetables, about 65 percent of the produce samples tested positive for pesticide residue. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides have been linked to many illnesses and health concerns, including developmental problems in children and endocrine system dysfunction.
Check out EWG’s Dirty Dozen list below:
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
10. Cherry Tomatoes
11. Snap Peas – Imported
Sonya Lunder, EWG’s senior analyst and author of the Shopper’s Guide report, said in a statement, “For decades, various toxic pesticides were claimed to be ‘safe’ — until they weren’t, and either banned or phased out because they posed risks to people. While regulators and scientists debate these and other controversies about pesticide safety, EWG will continue drawing attention to the fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide loads.”
Just because many fruits and vegetables are heavily sprayed with pesticides doesn’t mean that you should forgo produce. The best way to enjoy fruits and vegetables is to buy them organic and use EWG’s list to inform your choices so that you can still reap the rewards of a plant-based diet.
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