If you pass on the organic produce in order to save a few bucks, perhaps you should at least consider the organic strawberries, new research suggests.
For the third year in a row, strawberries rank the worst on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables. The annual list looks at which of our grocery store produce is harboring the highest number of harmful pesticide residues.
This year, more than 98 percent of samples of fruits like strawberries, peaches, cherries and apples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue on the skin. About a third of all strawberry samples had at least 10 pesticides present, the study reported. One sample had an “astounding” 22 pesticide residues.
Behind strawberries on the Dirty Dozen list landed spinach. About 97 percent of spinach samples showed pesticide residues were present.
Nectarines, apples and grapes rounded out the top five.
The report is based on findings of nearly 39,000 tests on 47 different fruits and vegetables conducted by the Department of Agriculture. The findings showed that nearly 70 percent of “conventionally grown produce” and 98 percent of strawberries, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples contain at least one pesticide.
But it’s not all negative. The EWG also publishes a list of the “Clean Fifteen.” On it were avocados in first place followed by sweet corn. Pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbage are also reportedly pretty safe. More than 80 percent of samples of these fruits and vegetables contained no pesticides.
Here are the Dirty Dozen for 2018:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
The “Clean 15” FOR 2018:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet Peas — Frozen
- Honeydew Melons