The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) has attacked the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for continuing to release its "Dirty Dozen" list, which is said to show which produce items that have the highest levels of pesticide residues.
Strawberries are easily one of the most popular fruits across the globe and its flavor gives chocolate a tough competition in the dessert spectrum making it a world-wide favorite, however, a recent report has found that the red fruit tops in the list of produce heavily contaminated with pesticide residues. It's the second straight year strawberries have led the list, which has been published since 2004 and is based on U.S. Department of Agriculture tests of 48 types of produce.
However, a report by the USDA in 2014 found that "overall pesticide chemical residues on foods tested were at levels below the tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency" and were not a safety concern to consumers. The list includes strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and potatoes.
EWG, a non-profit research group, found 70% of the thousands of analyzed samples contained at least some pesticides.
The USDA doesn't test every food every year.
The Shoppers Guide also includes "Clean Fifteen" - a list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues.
In order to conduct this study, researchers tested 36,000 samples of vegetables and fruits.
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Spinach made one of the more notable jumps on this year's list, moving from No. 8 to No. 2.
Spinach samples had, on average, twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
The "Clean Fifteen," on the other hand, were: sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangos, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.
"S$3 o when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children's exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables".
Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest: only 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides. "If you can't buy organic, the Shopper's Guide will steer you to conventionally grown produce that is the lowest in pesticides".