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Tags: fruits | vegetables | pesticides | toxic | residues | organic | clean

12 Fruits and Vegetables You Should Buy Organic

two hands holding fresh blueberries

By    |   Friday, 31 March 2023 05:38 PM EDT

Blueberries and green beans joined the annual Dirty Dozen list of nonorganic produce with the most pesticides. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit environmental health organization, analyzed testing data on 46,659 samples of 46 fruits and vegetables to compile the 2023 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce. The EWG says that 75% of non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful pesticides and the Dirty Dozen lists 12 items with the highest pesticide levels.

The EWG says that any exposure to pesticides is problematic, but the findings are particularly concerning for children, who are more vulnerable to many of the health harms associated with pesticide exposure. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is critical for a healthy diet whether the produce is organic or not. But for shoppers concerned about pesticide exposure, the Dirty Dozen list, which has been released every year since 2004, offers guidelines on the most polluted products in terms of pesticide exposure.

“What we do know is that people who eat the most fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and other seeds are at significantly reduced risk for heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, certain cancers and premature death, regardless of whether their food is conventionally grown or organic,” says Dr. Gabe Mirkin, author of The Healthy Heart Miracle. However, Harvard University researchers found that consuming fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues may lessen the health benefits,

This year, the EWG found that crops of blueberries and green beans had troubling concentrations of pesticides that can harm the human nervous system. These are called organophosphate insecticides. Several green bean samples had residues of acephate, a toxic pesticide, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned more than 10 years ago.

“One sample of non-organic green beans had acephate at a level 500 times greater than the limit set by the EPA,” said Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist at the EWG with expertise in toxic chemicals and pesticides.

If you are on a tight budget and concerned about pesticide levels, the EWG has information about the safest choices when buying and consuming produce. The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 together make up EWG’s annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which analyzes U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration test data to identify which fresh fruits and vegetables are the most and least contaminated with pesticide residues.

This year cantaloupe was removed from the Clean 15, non-organic produce that the EWG gives a thumbs up to, and carrots were added.

“Whether organic or conventionally grown, fruits and vegetables are critical components of a healthy diet,” said former EWG toxicologist Thomas Galligan. “We urge consumers who are concerned about their pesticide intake to consider, when possible, purchasing organically grown versions of the foods on EWG’s Dirty Dozen, or conventional produce from the Clean 15.”

In the 2023 list of foods to avoid, strawberries and spinach continued to hold the two top spots, says CNN. They were followed by kale, collard, and mustard greens. Listed next were peaches, pears, nectarines, apples, grapes, bell and hot peppers and cherries. Blueberries and green beans were 11th and 12th on the list.

Among conventional produce on the Clean 15 list with low levels of pesticides are avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, onions, papaya, frozen sweet peas, asparagus, honeydew melon, kiwi, cabbage, mushrooms, mangoes, sweet potatoes, watermelon, and carrots. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers these seven tips for cleaning fruits and vegetables.

© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Blueberries and green beans joined the annual Dirty Dozen list of nonorganic produce with the most pesticides. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit environmental health organization, analyzed testing data on 46,659 samples of 46 fruits and vegetables to...
fruits, vegetables, pesticides, toxic, residues, organic, clean, environmental working groupT
Friday, 31 March 2023 05:38 PM
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