Tags: produce | avoid | report | pesticides

The Newest 'Dirty Dozen' List of Produce to Avoid

Fruit stand display.

By    |   Wednesday, 20 March 2024 03:15 PM EDT

About 95% of nonorganic strawberries, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, collard and mustard greens, grapes, peaches, and pears tested by the U.S government are contaminated with pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group's 2024 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce: The Dirty Dozen.

Rounding out the list are nectarines, apples, bell peppers, cherries, blueberries, and green beans, according to CNN. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental and advocacy organization, has been producing the annual report since 2004.

Pesticides have been linked to several health issues such as preterm births, congenital malformations, and increase in genetic damage. Exposure to pesticides has also been associated with lower sperm concentration, heart disease, cancer, and other disorders.

Farm workers who are likely to have more exposure to pesticides were nearly five times more likely to have DNA damage according to a 2022 meta-analysis, CNN reported.

In a news release, EWG said that four of five of the most frequently detected chemicals in the Dirty Dozen were fungicides: fludioxonil, pyraclostrobin, boscalid, and pyrimethanil. Fludioxonil and pyrimethanil also show up as the highest concentrations of any pesticide found in the offending produce. Both fungicides may be endocrine disruptors with the potential to harm the male reproductive system, says EWG's Senior Toxicologist Alexis Temkin.

This year, EWG determined that 75% of all fresh conventional produce sampled had residues of potentially harmful pesticides. But for items on the Dirty Dozen, 95% of samples contained pesticides.

The shopping guide also includes the Clean Fifteen, which that have the lowest amounts of pesticide residue, according to EWG's analysis of the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

These include avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, onions, papaya, and frozen sweet peas. Temkin tells Newsmax that almost 65% of the EWG's 2024 Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no detectable pesticide residues.

One problem in avoiding conventional produce riddled with pesticides is the high price of organic foods.

"When organic versions are unavailable or not affordable, EWG advises that consumers should continue eating fresh produce, even it is it conventionally grown," Temkin said. "Consumers can also use EWG's Clean Fifteen to prioritize conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the lowest pesticide residues. The most important recommendation is that all adults and children should eat lots of fruits and vegetables — whether conventional or not."

Cleaning fruit and vegetables before eating reduces pesticide levels, but "no washing method is 100% effective for removing all pesticide residues," according to the National Pesticide Information Center. Start with clean hands, and wash and rub the produce under running water instead of soaking to remove most pesticides, the center recommends.

Don't use soap or commercial produce wash to clean them as produce is porous. Soap and household detergents can be absorbed by fruits and vegetables, despite thorough rinsing, and make you sick, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Dry the produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce any bacteria that is present, CNN said.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

About 95% of nonorganic strawberries, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, collard and mustard greens, grapes, peaches, and pears tested by the U.S government are contaminated with pesticides, according to a report.
produce, avoid, report, pesticides
Wednesday, 20 March 2024 03:15 PM
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