The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its 2019 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists — a catalog of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue. Strawberries topped the “Dirty Dozen” list for the third year in row. More than 90 percent of produce sampled, including strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and kale, tested positive for two or more pesticides.
This year’s study revealed that kale is the third-most contaminated fruit or vegetable. Even though kale’s popularity as a health food has soared in recent years, the USDA had not tested kale for close to a decade. A single sample of the leafy green contained up to 18 difference residues. The most frequent offender? Dacthal (DCPA), a pesticide that has been banned in Europe since 2009 and was classified as a possible human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.
A recent French study published in JAMA Internal Medicine surveyed almost 70,000 participants and found that those who ate the most organic food were associated with 25 percent fewer cancers. Other studies have found that higher consumption of pesticide-laden foods can result in fertility problems.
“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:
The Clean Fifteen:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Kiwi fruit
- Honeydew melons
For a full list of where various fruits and veggies rank, visit the EWG website.