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Highlights of Dirty Dozen™ 2015 and The Clean Fifteen™

Posted by Yvonne Dunetz

14 Aug
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“EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce calculates that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetables samples examined in 2013.

EWG singles out produce with the highest pesticide loads for its Dirty Dozen™ list. This year, it is comprised of apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes.
Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and showed higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce items.
Key findings:
o 99 percent of apple samples, 98 percent of peaches, and 97 percent of nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
o The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce.
o A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
o Single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.

EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ list of produce least likely to hold pesticide residues consists of avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticides on them.
Key findings:
o Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent of avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.
o Some 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues.
o No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen™ tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides.
o Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen samples had two or more pesticides.

Dirty Dozen PLUS™
For the third year, EWG has expanded the Dirty Dozen™ with a Plus category to highlight two types of food that contain trace levels of highly hazardous pesticides. Leafy greens – kale and collard greens – and hot peppers do not meet traditional Dirty Dozen™ ranking criteria but were frequently found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system. EWG recommends that people who eat a lot of these foods buy organic instead.”

For more information go to: http://ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

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