It’s that time of year again, when the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes out with a list of the most pesticide ridden produce on the market, the Dirty Dozen™. They also have a Clean Fifteen™ list with fruits and vegetables considered to contain the least amount of pesticide residue.
This year, strawberries claimed the top spot on the Dirty Dozen list, for the second year in a row. USDA tests found that strawberries are the fresh produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues, even after they are picked, rinsed in the field and washed before eating. According to the EWG, Americans eat nearly 8 pounds of fresh strawberries a year, which means also eating dozens of pesticides, including chemicals that have been linked to cancer and reproductive damage, or that are banned in Europe.
Although washing produce thoroughly can help reduce the pesticide residue, the best way to limit pesticide exposure is to choose organically grown strawberries when possible, and that is true for all foods on the 2017 Dirty Dozen list.
This year the EWG Dirty Dozen are:
11. Sweet bell peppers
Organic produce can be expensive, so if you are on a tight budget, consider filling your shopping cart with produce that was found to have the least amount of pesticide residue, like avocados, eggplant and cauliflower. Here’s a link to the EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ list.
Photo from here, with thanks.