It's that time of the year again! EWG has announced it's annual "Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen" list of the foods that are the most contaminated with pesticides. Meanwhile, nutrition "experts" are telling consumers that the list isn't important and that we should completely ignore the shopper's guide.
Why is this list so important?
"It is vitally important that everyone eats plenty of produce, but it is also wise to avoid dietary exposure to toxic pesticides, from conception through childhood," said Sonya Lunder, senior analyst with EWG. "With EWG's guide, consumers can fill their fridges and fruit bowls with plenty of healthy conventional and organic produce that isn't contaminated with multiple pesticide residues." (source)
Studies suggest that consuming pesticide-laden food can result in many different health issues.
After countless studies, pesticides have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, ADHD, and even birth defects. Pesticides also have the potential to harm the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the endocrine system. Pesticides can even be very harmful to fetuses because the chemicals can pass from the mother during pregnancy or if a woman nurses her child. Although one piece of fruit with pesticides won't kill you, if they build up in your body, they can be potentially detrimental to your health and should be avoided as much as possible. (source)
Since most of us can't afford a diet of organic, locally-grown pesticide-free food, the Environmental Working Group came up with an annual list that can help you decide what to buy conventional and what to buy organic. Here were some of their most important findings this year:
More than one-third of strawberry samples analyzed in 2016 contained 10 or more pesticide residues and breakdown products.
More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, peaches, potatoes, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
Spinach samples had, on average, almost twice as much pesticide residue by weight compared to any other crop.
Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest. Less than 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbages had no pesticide residues.
No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four pesticides.
Read on for the EWG's lists.
The Dirty Dozen: These are the most contaminated foods
When you go shopping, you should look for the organic version of these foods. The conventional varieties have the highest levels of pesticides that you'll find.