The Dirty Dozen
Buying organic is now always an option. Some people live paycheck to paycheck and buying organic can take a big chunk of your salary. But there are some foods that we should always try to buy purchase organic. According the EWG: "The USDA tests found a total of 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples analyzed. EWG's analysis of the tests shows that there are stark differences among various types of produce. The Shopper's Guide lists the Dirty Dozen™ fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues, and the Clean Fifteen™, for which few, if any, residues were detected. Key findings from this year’s guide: More than one-third of strawberry samples analyzed in 2016 contained 10 or more pesticide residues and breakdown products. More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, peaches, potatoes, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide. Spinach samples had, on average, almost twice as much pesticide residue by weight compared to any other crop."
- One strawberry sample contained an astounding 22 pesticide residues.
- One-third of all conventional strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides.
- 90 percent of conventional apples had detectable pesticide residues.
- 80 percent of apples tested contained diphenylamine, a pesticide banned in Europe.
- Nearly 94 percent of nectarine samples contained two or more pesticides.
- One sample of conventionally grown nectarines contained residues of 15 pesticides.
- More than 99 percent of conventional peaches had detectable pesticide residues.
- An average of four pesticide residues were detected on conventional peaches.
- More than 95 percent of conventional celery samples tested positive for pesticides.
- A maximum of 13 pesticides were detected on a sample of conventional celery.
- Grapes contain an average of five pesticide residues.
- More than 96 percent of conventional grapes test positive for pesticide residues.
- An average of five pesticides were detected on conventional cherries.
- 30 percent of cherry samples contained iprodione, a pesticide not allowed in Europe, which may cause cancer
- 7 percent of conventional spinach samples contained pesticide residues.
- Conventional spinach had relatively high concentrations of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide.
- Pears contained several pesticides in relatively high concentrations, including insecticides and fungicides. More than half of conventionally grown pears tested had residues of five or more pesticides.
Sweet Bell Peppers
- Almost 90 percent of conventional sweet bell pepper samples contained pesticide residues.
- Sweet bell peppers can contain fewer pesticide residues than other Dirty Dozen foods, but the pesticides tend to be more toxic to human health.
- Conventional potatoes had more pesticide residues by weight than any other crop.
- One pesticide in particular, chlorpropham, makes up the bulk of pesticides detected on potatoes.
- Nearly four pesticides were detected on the average conventionally grown tomato.
- One sample of conventional tomatoes contained 15 different pesticides and breakdown products.