Friday, 15 February, 2019

Strawberries, apples, spinach: Guide highlights fruits, veggies with most pesticide residues

Strawberries Top EWG's Pesticide Laden'Dirty Dozen List for Third Year in a Row Strawberries, apples, spinach: Guide highlights fruits, veggies with most pesticide residues
Melissa Porter | 12 April, 2018, 05:10

"The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future".

So whatever produce you buy scientists say just washing it under running tap water for 30 seconds should eliminate any leftover pesticides. And the EWG is warning shoppers that, even after washed or peeled, these fruits and vegetables may contain high pesticide residue. EWG's analysis of the tests shows that there are stark differences among various types of produce.

Strawberries own the top spot on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list for a third consecutive year.

According to EWG's annual shopper's guide report, about a third of all strawberry samples tested has at least 10 pesticides on it.

On average, spinach samples contained nearly twice as much pesticide residue by weight compared to any other produce item tested.

Avocados and sweet corn lead the pack.

Less than 1% of samples of avocados and sweet corn showed any detectable pesticides. Not a single fruit from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four pesticides and more than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbages had no pesticide residue.

Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at EWG, said the point of the annual guide is to equip consumers with the knowledge and information they need to make the best purchases for their families - especially if they are trying to avoid pesticide residues in their foods. And despite fruits and vegetables being an essential component of a healthy diet, consuming them, and the potential pesticides they're littered with, "may pose subtle health risks". This list compiles the 12 conventionally grown - which means not organic - fruits and vegetables that contain the highest pesticide residue. The Environmental Working Group looks at six measures of contamination including the average number of pesticides found on samples and the average amount of pesticides found.

In fact, almost 70% of conventionally grown - non-organic - produce samples were contaminated, the tests indicated. Male participants who ate high-residue produce had poorer sperm quality. Studies have linked pesticide-laden produce to everything from asthma and cancer to fertility problems and brain conditions.

The findings from the EARTH studies raise important questions about the safety of pesticide mixtures found on produce, and suggest that people should focus on eating the fruits and vegetables with the fewest pesticide residues. Spinach, nectarines, apples and grapes rounded out the Top 5. The residues are so low, in fact, that an independent toxicological report from Dr. Robert Krieger of the Personal Chemical Exposure Program, University of California, Riverside, found that a small child could eat 154 servings of apples every day without any impact from any residues that might be present. Breakdown products are substances that form when pesticides mix with the environment.

Many pesticides have been banned since 1996 when legislation was passed to require the EPA to study and regulate pesticides.