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Nearly three out of four of the fruits and vegetables sold at America’s supermarkets contain pesticide residues, according to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data cited in a new Environmental Working Group report that also listed the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables.
All total, the USDA data detected 146 different pesticides on produce sold in the United States.
Disturbingly, some of the healthiest foods, including leafy greens like kale, and strawberries, contained the highest levels of pesticides, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered in its Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
Highlights from the guide include:
- Pesticide was detected on 98 percent of the strawberries, peaches, nectarines and peaches tested.
- Samples taken from a sweet bell pepper and a grape contained 15 different pesticides.
- A strawberry sample contained 17 different pesticides.
Perhaps most frightening of all was the list of foods mothers throughout America put in their children’s lunchboxes because they think they are healthy.
Here is the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list of the most contaminated produce:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers and greens such as kale and collard greens, almost made the top 12.
To give moms peace of mind, the EWG also published a Clean 15 list of the most pesticide-free produce:
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweat peas
- Honeydew melon
It looks as if the only way to keep your food pesticide-free is to grow a garden.
What are your thoughts on these lists? What produce do you purchase and also avoid at the store? Share your thoughts in the section below: