Apples top this year’s Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of worst pesticide-laden produce, with celery, last year’s worst offender, bumping to second.
The public health advocacy group’s annual list is a way of offering consumers information on 53 fruits and vegetables and their total pesticide loads, according to a statement from the organization. In addition to its “Dirty Dozen” list, the EWG names a “Clean 15” list of the cleanest conventional produce. Onions head that list.
“Though buying organic is always the best choice, we know that sometimes people do not have access to that produce or cannot afford it,” EWG President Ken Cook says in a statement. “Our guide helps consumers concerned about pesticides to make better choices among conventional produce, and lets them know which fruits and vegetables they may want to buy organic.”
Government agencies in the United States and other countries have linked pesticides to nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone system disruption, and IQ deficits among children, the group notes.
The rankings are based on an EWG analysis of produce data from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The produce gets a composite score that equally weighs six factors reflecting the number of pesticides found and at what levels. The produce is washed and peeled before testing in order to measure likely chemical amounts on the food at the time it would be eaten.
To see both lists and read the full EWG statement, Go Here Now