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Strawberries, Spinach, Kale: High on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ List

0 2 years ago

Once again, strawberries and spinach, along with kale and collard and mustard greens, top this year’s “Dirty Dozen” list, an annual and controversial ranking of nonorganic fruits and vegetables based on the amount of pesticides found in samples of the foods.

The yearly report comes from the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving human health and the environment, and also includes a “Clean 15” list of produce.

An industry group for growers of organic and nonorganic produce, along with some dietitians, make strong objections to the report, saying it raises unnecessary alarm and could discourage people from eating enough fruits and vegetables.

The report gives people valuable information, says the Environmental Working Group’s Alexis Temkin, PhD, a toxicologist, so they can make informed choices about the fruits and vegetables they buy.

Environmental Working Group researchers get data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s samplings of pesticide residue on produce done yearly or every 2 years, and from the FDA for honeydew melon, which the USDA doesn’t test for.

2022 Results: Dirty Dozen

More than 70% of the conventionally grown produce had detectable pesticide residue, the Environmental Working Group found. These fruits and vegetables were found to have the most pesticide residues this year:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, and collard and mustard greens
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Bell and hot peppers
  8. Cherries
  9. Peaches
  10. Pears
  11. Celery
  12. Tomatoes

2022 Results: Clean 15

Almost 70% of the Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no detectable residues of pesticides, the Environmental Working Group found. Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest, with less than 2% of samples showing any detectable pesticides.


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