The Dirty Dozen of Fruits and Vegetables

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According to Janice Lloyd  in the June 12th issue of USA Today, “…apples are at the top of the list of produce most contaminated with pesticides in a report published today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public health advocacy group.

“We think what’s happening to apples is more pesticides and fungicides are being applied after the harvest so the fruit can have a longer shelf life,” says EWG analyst Sonya Lunder. “Pesticides might be in small amounts, but we don’t know what the subtle, long-term effects of many of these pesticides are yet.”

According to Lunder, pesticides were measured in six different ways:

•percentage of samples tested with detectable pesticides.

•percentage of samples with two or more pesticides.

•average number of pesticides found on a single sample.

•average amount (level in parts per million) of all pesticides found.

•maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample.

•total number of pesticides found on the commodity.

Its seventh annual report analyzed government data on 53 fruits and vegetables, identifying which have the most and least pesticides after washing and peeling. For produce found to be highest in pesticides, the group recommends buying organic.”

There were some fruits and veggies that moved up and down on the list and here are the worst and the best:

The Dirty Dozen

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens

The Clean 15

1. Onions
2. Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

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