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Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce - By Lea



The Environmental Working Group released its annual Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce, also known as the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.


The list is compiled from the EWG’s analysis of 47 fresh produce, using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program.


This year the EWG added a twist: raisins.


“Because the USDA tested raisins last year for the first time since 2007, we decided to see how they would fare on the Dirty Dozen, our annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides,” the group said in a release. “Almost every sample of non-organic raisins – 99 percent – had residues of at least two pesticides. On the 2020 Dirty Dozen, raisins would rank worst of all fruits tested, including strawberries, nectarines, apples, and cherries.”


This year’s Dirty Dozen list:

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Kale

4. Nectarines

5. Apples

6. Grapes

7. Peaches

8. Cherries

9. Pears

10. Tomatoes

11. Celery

12. Potatoes


The “Clean Fifteen” rankings include a list of the “least contaminated” produce items from the EWG’s analysis.


They are:

1. Avocados

2. Sweet corn

3. Pineapple

4. Onions

5. Papaya

6. Sweet peas (frozen)

7. Eggplants

8. Asparagus

9. Cauliflower

10. Cantaloupes

11. Broccoli

12. Mushrooms

13. Cabbage

14. Honeydew melon

15. Kiwifruit


Numerous product groups refute the annual list’s publication. The Alliance for Food and Farming is one of the most active industry advocacy groups and offers a Pesticide Residue Calculator showing the amount of a fruit or vegetable a person would have to eat to reach the Environmental Protection Agency’s minimum risk threshold.

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