The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released the free 2017 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce. It's a great list to have at your fingertips.
Each year, EWG analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration on the amount of pesticide residue found in the nation's fresh produce supply. This year, the EWG ranked 48 of the most popular fresh fruits and vegetables according to how much or how little pesticide residue they contain after being washed and, in some cases, peeled.
Most convential produce is sprayed with pesticides, including fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides, and there are proven health risks associated with these toxic chemicals.
So, the guide essentially lets you know which fruits and vegetables you can safely buy organic and nonorganic. That helps you stay healthy and save money.
Here's a quick look at the top Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables:
Avocados are #2 on the Clean 15 list of least-sprayed produce. So avocados are safe to buy nonorganic. That's good to know because nonorganic avocados are usually half the price of organic avocados.
On the other hand, strawberries are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list of most-sprayed produce. In fact, more than 98% of strawberries tested had pesticides (some with residue from 20 different pesticides). So you should buy these organic.
Now for an interesting twist, sweet corn is ranked #1 on the Clean 15 list of least-sprayed produce this year. However, a small percentage of sweet corn grown in the United States is genetically modified.
So although you may not be ingesting pesticides when you eat sweet corn, you may be eating a genetically engineered food (GMO) with potential health consequences. And since the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn't require labeling of GMO produce, the EWG recommends that to avoid GMO foods, you buy organic sweet corn, along with organic papayas, squash and zucchini.
Check out the full 2017 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce for free and learn more about all 48 fruits and vegetables on the list. Or you might want to download the quick Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list on your phone for grocery shopping. And be sure to share the link with your friends and family! It's great info that everyone should have.
Have an awesome rest of the week!