Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen 2013
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its newest Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides today, to coincide with Earth Day. Apples top its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues for the third year in a row. The environmental watchdog group uses data compiled by the USDA, based on pre-washed samples of 48 types of conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables, to produce its report.
EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder was quoted in the press, remarking: “I think most Americans would be very surprised about how prevalent pesticide residue is,” noting that pesticides were still seen on 67 percent of the samples, which were all either washed or peeled before being tested. Among the top three worst offenders—apples, strawberries and grapes—nearly every sample had pesticides on it, Lunder said, with one grape alone showing traces of 15 pesticides!
The National Institute of Environmental Health Services acknowledges that scientists do not have a full understanding of the health risks associated with exposure to pesticide residues through food, soil, water, or air. Still, notes EWG, various U.S. and international government agencies have linked pesticides to a slew of health risks, including cancer, hormone disruption, brain and nervous system toxicity and irritation to the skin, eyes and lungs.
Dirty Dozen 2013
Sweet bell peppers
The EWG also compiles their data to release a “Clean Fifteen” list for consumers - fruits and veggies with the lowest levels of pesticides. Many of these “safest” options have naturally protective coatings, such as corn, which tops that list once again this year, and papaya, which is a newcomer.
Clean Fifteen 2013
*Information based on: http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/new--dirty-dozen--list-of-pesticide-laden-produce-is-out-215350190.html