We know that cutting down on pesticide exposure is important for all of us, but especially for children and pregnant or nursing mothers. Buying organic produce is one way to cut down on exposure, but not everyone can afford that.
With that in mind, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases yearly updates on the cleanest produce (clean fifteen), and the highest sprayed produce (dirty dozen). By sticking to the clean fifteen when buying conventional produce you can substantially lower the amount of pesticides you consume through foods. I love that!
In their new findings, the group found that 65 percent of the thousands of pounds of produce they tested had some pesticide residue. They also found that every imported nectarine they tested, and 99 percent of apple samples had at least one pesticide residue. The average potato contains more pesticides by weight than any other food, and a single grape had residue from 15 pesticides.
Let’s start with the good news with the produce that was the most likely to be found without any pesticide residue.
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweet peas
- Sweet potatoes
One separate word of caution: If you also avoid genetically modified foods, stick with organic papaya, as much of conventional papaya is now genetically modified.
And now for the bad news, the Dirty Dozen Plus list. This year they’ve added hot pepper, kale and collard greens to the list. While they don’t contain as high of concentrations of pesticides, they do contain especially toxic pesticides.
- Imported nectarines
- Imported snap peas
- Hot peppers
- Kale & collard greens
All to say, it’s an important list to review each year, as there can be significant changes.
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