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Pesticides in Produce

Pesticides in Produce

 

A Good Reason to Buy

Organic

 

There has been a growing concern about pesticide use on our food and for good reason. In the studies that have been done, pesticides have been shown to have adverse affect on people, especially developing children. Pesticides are toxic chemicals and their detrimental affects have only begun to be studied and have not been publicized enough. The recommendations we found suggest we try to avoid exposure to chemicals on food whenever possible. This is a good reason to buy organic.

 

One report we found was extremely helpful in deciphering the scientific evidence and advising us on which produce to avoid, unless organic. By searching through the data, they were able to develop a ranking of produce, according to residue found on certain produce.

 

The produce ranking was developed by analysts at the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) based on the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2004. EWG is a not-for-profit environmental research organization dedicated to improving public health and protecting the environment by reducing pollution in air, water and food.

 

For more information please visit www.ewg.org. EWG developed the helpful chart to the right make shopping easier.

 

Will washing and peeling help?

Nearly all of the data used to create these lists already considers how people typically wash and prepare produce (for example, apples are washed before testing, bananas are peeled). While washing and rinsing fresh produce may reduce levels of some pesticides, it does not eliminate them. Peeling also reduces exposures, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the peel. The best option is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and choose organic when possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

 

To get your own guide, go to http://www.foodnews.org/pdf/EWG_pesticide.pdf.

 

Note: They ranked a total of 43 different fruits and vegetables but grapes are listed twice because we looked at both domestic and imported samples.

                                                                                               

Rank

Fruit or Veggie

SCORE

1 (worst) Peaches 100 (highest pesticide)
2 Apples 96
3 Sweet Bell Peppers 86
4 Celery 85
5 Nectarines 84
6 Strawberries 83
7 Cherries 75
8 Lettuce 69
9 Grapes(imported) 68
10 Pears 65
11 Spinach 60
12 Potatoes 58
13 Carrots 57
14 Green Beans 55
15 Hot Peppers 53
16 Cucumbers 52
17 Raspberries 47
18 Plums 46
19 Oranges 46
20 Grapes-Domestic 46
21 Cauliflower 39
22 Tangerine 38
23 Mushrooms 37
24 Cantaloupe 34
25 Lemon 31
26 Honeydew Melon 31
27 Grapefruit 31
28 Winter Squash 31
29 Tomatoes 30
30 Sweet Potatoes 30
31 Watermelon 25
32 Blueberries 24
33 Papaya 21
34 Eggplant 19
35 Broccoli 31
36 Cabbage 17
37 Bananas 16
38 Kiwi 14
39 Asparagus 11
40 Sweet Peas-Frozen 11
41 Mango 9
42 Pineapples 7
43 Sweet Corn-frozen 2
44 Avocado 11
45 Onions 1 (Lowest Pesticide)

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