The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently published* the results of their investigation into the varying levels of pesticide contamination of 47 domestically available fruits and vegetables. The EWG analyzed approximately 87,000 pesticide tests conducted from 2000-2007 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The complete study results and a nice “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides” is available for free online. You can also download a printable quick reference guide for easy use at your favorite grocery store. Check the end of this story to get links to these and to the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15.” I do not want to ruin the surprise, but fruits claimed the most spots (7/12) in the Dirty Dozen.
It is particularly disturbing that most fruit and vegetables were analyzed after they were washed and/or peeled. The EWG advocates that to lower your pesticide exposure by up to 80%, simply avoid the Dirty Dozen and eat more from the Clean 15. They also recommend that consumers chose organically grown fruits and vegetables.
Check the EWG website for complete details about this story.