98% of Strawberries, Apples, Spinach And More Harbor Pesticide Residues



Senior analyst at Environmental Working Group (EWG), Sonya Lunder, says that as much as 20 types of pesticides were found in one strawberry sample. In fact, strawberries lead the "Dirty Dozen" list — that is, a list of foods containing the most pesticide residues.

Of the 47 vegetables and fruits that have undergone the 39,000 tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, strawberries have consistently turned out the highest pesticide percentages n the past three years. CNN reported that 98% of fruits like apples, strawberries, spinach, and cherries harbor pesticides.

Why Is This A Big Deal?

Research reports from the American Academy of Pediatricians support that children are at significant health risk due to pesticide ingestion. Asthma, cancer, birth anomalies, congenital disabilities, behavioral and neurodevelopmental problems in children are all health problems that can be traced to pesticide consumption.

According to the NCBI, a child exposed to pesticides from as early as the mother's pregnancy stands the risk of being harmed.

What's The Good News?

Luckily, the solution isn't too farfetched. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station says that merely rinsing fruits and vegetables under tap water for 30 seconds can completely remove pesticide residues. In fact, washing in water proved so useful that vegetable washes and use of mild detergents didn't make a noticeable difference.

For a more effective solution, fruits and vegetables can be rid of pesticide residues by soaking them in a mixture of water and baking soda. This preventive measure is backed by studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

According to USA Today, "99% of residues are 'well below safety levels' set by the Environmental Protection Agency." However, the EWG advises that consumers buy only organic produce. The EWG also publishes a list called the 'Clean Fifteen' made up of veggies and fruits that have the least amount of pesticides, avocados top this list.

Here's a list of the Dirty Dozen below.

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Nectarines

4. Apples

5. Grapes

6. Peaches

7. Cherries

8. Pears

9. Tomatoes

10. Celery

11. Potatoes

12. Sweet Bell Peppers

Below is a list of the Clean Fifteen, according to the EWG.

1. Avocados

2. Sweet corn

3. Pineapples

4. Cabbages

5. Onions

6. Sweet peas, frozen

7. Papayas

8. Asparagus

9. Mangoes

10. Eggplants

11. Honeydew melons

12. Kiwis

13. Cantaloupes

14. Cauliflower

15. Broccoli