Strawberries, Kale top ‘dirty dozen’ list of tainted produce

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN/ CNN) — How safe is the food in your kitchen?

The Environmental Working Group released its “Dirty Dozen” list of the dirtiest fruits and vegetables.

Nearly 70 percent of the produce sold in the United States comes with pesticide residue, according to the report

“Overall, the USDA found 225 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on popular fruits and vegetables Americans eat every day,” officials wrote. “Before testing, all produce was washed and peeled, just as people would prepare food for themselves, which shows that simple washing does not remove all pesticides.”

Here is the full Dirty Dozen list: 

1Strawberries
2Spinach
3Kale
4Nectarines
5Apples
6Grapes
7Peaches
8Cherries
9Pears
10Tomatoes
11Celery
12Potatoes

Among the cleanest foods are avocados, sweet corn and pineapples.

Here are all the fruits and vegetables on the ‘Clean Fifteen’ list: 

1Avocadoes
2Sweet Corn
3Pineapples
4Sweet Peas Frozen
5Onions
Papayas
Eggplants
8Asparagus
Kiwis
10Cabbage
11 Cauliflower
12Cantaloupes
13Broccoli
14Mushrooms
15Honeydew Melons

Researchers say consuming pesticides have been linked to health issues like cancer and fertility concerns. But this doesn’t mean people get an excuse to avoid fruits and veggies. EWG officials say those are the items Americans need to eat more of.

In the past, there have been holes pointed out in the EWG findings. NBC News reported last year that the EWG analyzes data to quantify the chemical residue from pesticides, noting things like the average number of pesticides found on a single sample and the maximum number detected. The results aren’t designed to provide information about the levels found, nor the significance of the exposure.

To avoid pesticides, EWG officials suggest eating organic produce but it’s important to remember that organic produce is not entirely pesticide free

“The pesticides that are allowed for organic food production are typically not manmade. They tend to have natural substances like soaps, lime sulfur and hydrogen peroxide as ingredients,” according to the officials with the National Pesticide Information Center. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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