‘Superfoods’ like blueberries, spinach and kale, named among the ‘dirty dozen,’ produce aisle fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides
Blueberries, spinach and kale, each generally recognized as one of the healthiest foods one can eat, have been named among the produce with the highest amount of pesticides.
The Washington, DC-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) named its “dirty dozen” foods produced this week, a dubious honor reserved only for fruits and vegetables in the United States mixed with the most of chemicals.
Along with antioxidant-rich blueberries and leafy greens, there are other snack time favorites including strawberries, grapes, apples, nectarines, pears, and cherries.
Bell peppers and green beans, often found in health-conscious recipes, also made the ignominious list.
The EWG studied 46 aisle staples for its study and found that 75 percent of US-grown produce contains harmful pesticide residues. Human ingestion can damage the nervous system or even cause cancer.
More than 90 percent of the samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and grapes had at least two pesticides, the EWG found.
More than 250 different pesticides have been discovered on fruits and vegetables, some of which have been banned in the US or Europe due to their effect on human health.
For example, the neurotoxic organophosphate insecticide acephate, which was banned for use on green beans in 2011, turned up in six percent of green bean samples.
The insecticide is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a possible human carcinogen.
Both blueberries and green beans harbor worrying levels of organophosphate insecticides.
These can damage the human nervous system and are particularly poisonous to the developing brains of children.
Nearly 10 percent of the blueberry samples contained the pesticide phosmet, and 9 percent had traces of malathion.
Both are organophosphates, and malathion was classified as probably carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015.
More than 90 percent of the samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and grapes contained at least two pesticides.
More than 50 pesticides were detected on every type of crop on the dirty dozen list, plus cherries.
Kale, collard greens, and mustard greens and hot and bell peppers had the most pesticides of any crop: 103 and 101.
The EWG compiled its ‘dirty dozen’ and ‘clean 15’ lists (fruits and vegetables with the least detectable pesticides) using data from 46,569 samples.
On the Clean 15 list, less than two percent of the avocado and sweet corn samples had detectable levels of detectable pesticides.
The data came from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which peels or rubs samples of its produce before testing, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which only removes soil before testing. evidence.
Even after these steps, 251 pesticides remained on the product.
The Clean 15 list contains tested fruits and vegetables that have very little or no traces of pesticides.
EWG toxicologist Alexis Temkin said: “Despite the abundance of science linking pesticide exposure to serious health problems, a potentially toxic cocktail of concerning chemicals continues to contaminate many of the non-organic fruits and vegetables consumed by consumers. the consumers”.
The EWG stressed that people should continue to eat fruits and vegetables, even if they are not organic.
Mr Temkin said: ‘Everyone, adults and children alike, should eat more fruits and vegetables, organic or not. A diet rich in produce provides many health benefits.’
Fruits and vegetables with more and less pesticides
3. Kale, collard greens, and mustard greens
9. Bell and hot peppers
12. green beans
2. Sweet corn
6. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
13. Sweet potatoes