Ever year the Dirty Dozen list, compiled by the Environmental Working Group, puts the spotlight on produce notorious for heavy (and dangerous) pesticide residues.
Apples most often top the list, but they have now been unseated by strawberries. In California, each acre of strawberry crop is treated with 300 pounds of pesticide chemicals, allowing farmers to stretch the yield of the strawberry’s naturally short growing season.
“It is startling to see how heavily strawberries are contaminated with residues of hazardous pesticides, but even more shocking is that these residues don’t violate the weak U.S. laws and regulations on pesticides in food,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG Senior Analyst in a statement. “The EPA’s levels of residues allowed on produce are too lax to protect Americans’ health. They should be updated to reflect new research that shows even very small doses of toxic chemicals can be harmful, particularly for young children.”
The rest of the Dirty Dozen is listed below:
11- Cherry Tomatoes
10- Sweet Bell Peppers
On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the “Clean Fifteen” list of the produce with the least amount of pesticides residue, topped by avocados and sweet corn.