The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its 2018 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists — a catalog of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue. Strawberries still top the “Dirty Dozen” list; in fact, one sample of strawberries had 22 different pesticide residues (up from 20 last year).
According to EWG analysis, nearly 70 percent of the conventionally grown produce studied by the Department of Agriculture was contaminated with pesticide residues. While there’s increased importance for all children and adults to eat more fruits and vegetables, many people don’t realize that washing conventional produce does not remove all the potentially harmful toxins. A 2017 study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found an association between eating high-pesticide-residue produce and fertility problems among both men and women.
In early 2017 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was on track to ban all uses of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on foods; however, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt withdrew the decision after Dow Chemical, which manufactures the pesticide, complained.
“With EWG’s guide, consumers can fill their fridges and fruit bowls with plenty of healthy conventional and organic produce that isn’t contaminated with multiple pesticide residues,” said Sonya Lunder, senior analyst with EWG.
Take control of what you put in your body with this year’s EWG list of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen”:
The Dirty Dozen:
- Sweet bell peppers
The Clean Fifteen:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Honeydew melons
For a full list of where various fruits and veggies rank, visit the EWG website.