The program's reports can run hundreds of pages long, however, so each year a non-profit called the Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiles the data into its "dirty dozen": a list of conventionally grown produce items with the worst track records when it comes to pesticide residues - and the ones EWG therefore recommends you buy organic. EWG's annual update of its "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce" - which is based on an analysis of tests run by the US Department of Agriculture - found that the most contaminated sample of strawberries had a whopping 20 different pesticides.
Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues on them.
EWG included strawberries, apples, cherries, table grapes, nectarines and peaches in its Dirty Dozen list. Shop organic and use EWG's Clean Fifteen™ list to find the conventionally grown produce with the lowest levels of pesticide residues.
In 2016, spinach was ranked eighth, but the latest numbers from the USDA showed a sharp increase in pesticide residues on non-organic spinach since the crop was last tested eight years ago.
For those who want to steer clear of pesticides, you're best sticking to Mexican cuisine: sweet corn and avocados were awarded the top spots of the EWG's "Clean Fifteen" list.
The strawberries you're eating probably have pesticides on them.
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The least contaminated products were sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.
Spinach samples had, on average, twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
Researchers found 70 percent of the juicy red morsels have traces of pesticides.
Only 1% of samples showed any detectable pesticides in avocados and sweet corn, which were deemed the cleanest produce.
"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". As it turns out, they're some of the most pesticide-heavy fruits and veggies according to the Environmental Working Group. That report essentially says that we don't need pesticides to produce enough food to feed the world. They measure the levels of pesticides found in every crop. Did you know that strawberries are contaminated with pesticides?