Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which ranks 48 fruits and vegetables which are widely consumed on the basis of their pesticide contamination.
The list is being drawn after more than 35,200 samples of fruits and vegetables are tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Also, consumers need to know that the samples have been properly prepared for eating and they have not been tested straight from the ground.
EWG discovered that 70 percent of the samples were contaminated with at least one pesticide. They found a total of 178 pesticides or pesticide breakdown products on the samples they had been testing.
One of the main findings implied nearly all samples of strawberries, peaches, spinach, cherries, nectarines, and apples had been contaminated with at least one type of pesticide. For instance, the most contaminated sample of strawberries had traces of 20 pesticides.
Also, the samples of spinach had twice as much pesticide per weight than any other crop. Three-fourths of these samples had traces of a neurotoxic pesticide that had been banned in Europe from its use on food.
This list is meant to help consumers choose the best foods, know which contain the bigger amounts of pesticides, and which make the list of the cleanest fruits and vegetables. The experts at EWG encourage shoppers to buy organic foods but, if they cannot afford it, they offer them this list so that they can choose the best foods and those with the lowest amounts of pesticide.
Thus, the list presents the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, in this particular order: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and potatoes.
They also listed the 15 cleanest foods, with the lowest pesticide residue. These are sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, sweet peas frozen, papayas, asparagus, mangos, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and grapefruits.
However, the EWG experts warn people that some assortments of summer squash, papaya, and sweet corn are produced from genetically engineered seeds. Thus, they advise buyers to purchase organic breeds of these foods if they want to avoid eating the products of genetic modification.
Image Source: Pixabay