Posted on May 14, 2019

Strawberries and Spinach Top the List of “Dirty Dozen” Foods

Fruits and vegetables are commonly referred to as the foods that we need to eat the most of for a healthy diet. But Luxor Nursing and Rehabilitation at Mills Pond wants to make you aware of a list that you need to be aware of when choosing your produce at the supermarket.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is out with its yearly list of dirtiest and cleanest fruits and vegetables when it comes to pesticide residues.

Overall, the EWG says that 70 percent of produce sold in the United States has pesticide residue.

The EWG uses data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to rank the foods. The USDA found 225 different pesticides on everyday produce items.

Here is the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen,” the 12 foods with the highest pesticide content.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

Conversely, relatively few pesticides were found in several different fruits and vegetables. Here is the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen.”

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Frozen sweet peas
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbages
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew melons

Perhaps the most alarming thing about this study is that the fruits and vegetables were thoroughly rinsed (and peeled, in some cases) before they were tested, meaning that the pesticides withstood a good rinsing. The EWG recommends buying the organic version of the fruits on the “dirty dozen,” as numerous studies show the number of pesticides found in the urine of people who are on an organic food diet to be, on average, 60 percent less than those who eat non-organic fruits and vegetables.