The nonprofit Environmental Working Group released its list of the dirty dozen and most clean 15 fruits and vegetables. The rankings were based on pesticide tests from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA. It updates last year’s list with recently released data from 2009 tests.
“Pesticides are toxic,” Sonya Lunder, EWG senior analyst, says in a news release. “They are designed to kill things and most are not good for you.
So, how bad are they?
You should avoid exposures to pesticides that are a thousand times less than levels known to be toxic.
So where do most people where do kids, and adults, get exposed to pesticides? For most of us, it’s through the fruits and vegetables we eat.
This certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat fruits and vegetables since they are vital to your good health, but if you choose fruits and vegetables from the Clean 15 list instead of the 12 on the Dirty Dozen list the EWG calculates that people can cut their pesticide exposure by 92%.
Buying organic produce, especially for the items on the dirty dozen list is also suggested. You should also always thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables (even those with a peel) before you eat them.
The EWG rating system is based on a score given to each item in six categories:
- Percentage of samples with detectable pesticide
- Percentage of samples with two or more pesticides
- Average number of pesticides found in a single sample
- Average amount of all pesticides found
- Maximum number of pesticides found in a single sample
- Total number of pesticides in the fruit or vegetable
12 Fruits and Vegetables that had the Worst Pesticide Scores:
- Nectarines (imported)
- Grapes (imported)
- Sweet bell peppers
- Blueberries (domestic)
- Kale/collard greens
Produce Tested With the Least Pesticide
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet potatoes
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