Which Fruits And Vegetables Are Loaded With Pesticides?

What fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides and which have the least? Here is an up to date review.

It may look like an apple, peach, strawberry, potato or celery, but there is something else lurking there.

Something invisible. And icky.

When you eat that sweet strawberry or crunchy celery, you’re also eating a mouthful of pesticides, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG).

What is the harm of pesticides? Pesticides are toxic by design and created expressly to kill living organisms–insects, plants and fungi that are considered “pests.” Many pesticides pose health dangers to people and have been linked to brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone disruption, skin and eye and lung irritation.

You can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and instead eating the least contaminated produce, according to calculations made by EWG.

To rank the produce items, EWG analysts used six metrics, including the total number of pesticides detected on a crop and the percent of samples tested with detectable pesticides. They first washed or peeled the samples prior to testing so the rankings would reflect the amounts of the crop chemicals likely present on the food when it is typically eaten by U.S. consumers.

The Dirty Dozen (It’s best to buy organic):
1. Apples
2. Strawberries
3. Grapes
4. Celery
5. Peaches
6. Spinach
7. Sweet bell peppers
8. Nectarines (imported)
9. Cucumbers
10. Cherry tomatoes
11. Snap peas (imported)
12. Potatoes

The Clean Fifteen (The lowest in pesticides):
1. Avocadoes
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Sweet peas (frozen)
6. Onions
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Papayas
10. Kiwis
11. Eggplant
12. Grapefruit
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Sweet potatoes

Fun facts to know and tell:

  • Every sample of imported nectarines tested and 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • Conventionally-grown apples have high concentrations of pesticides, primarily because of chemicals applied to the crop after harvest to preserve their appearance during long months of cold storage.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food.
  • A single grape tested positive for 15 pesticides. Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries tested positive for 13 different pesticides apiece.
  • Some 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues.
  • No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen list tested positive for more than four types of pesticides.

What can you do to protect yourself? The Environmental Working Group recommends buying organic produce to reduce the chance of ingesting pesticide residue. But even organic does not mean pesticide-free.

–From the Editors at Netscape

article source: http://netscape.compuserve.com/homerealestate/package.jsp?name=fte/pesticides/pesticides

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