Strawberries, spinach top list of produce with the most pesticides

Peaches moved down one ranking this year after claiming the No. 4 spot in 2016

For a limited time only, you can get EWG's exclusive Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ bag tag with a donation of $15 or more!

The EWG Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, released Wednesday, ranks pesticide contamination of popular fruits and vegetables based on more than 36,000 samples of produce tested by the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Lunder said the USDA "found significantly more pesticides by weight than prior years", with the average pesticide weight on spinach doubling that of other produce.

A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.

However, a report by the USDA in 2014 found that "overall pesticide chemical residues on foods tested were at levels below the tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency" and were not a safety concern to consumers. "This is a good wake-up call for them".

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For the second year in a row, strawberries topped the "Dirty Dozen" list of pesticide-contaminated produce that the Environmental Working Group complies every year.

The newest additions to the list were pears and potatoes, which replaced cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from a year ago. The alliance's Executive Director Teresa Thorne said the list has been "discredited" and dissuades people from eating fruits and vegetables.

Produce with the lowest pesticide residue, in order were: sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onion, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and grapefruit.

For those who want to steer clear of pesticides, you're best sticking to Mexican cuisine: sweet corn and avocados were awarded the top spots of the EWG's "Clean Fifteen" list.

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The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

EWG, a non-profit research group, found 70% of the thousands of analyzed samples contained at least some pesticides.

"S$3 o when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children's exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables".

More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbage had no pesticide residues. Each crop is scored and ranked based on six criteria, including the amount and variety of pesticides found. That report essentially says that we don't need pesticides to produce enough food to feed the world.

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