Photo: Flickr / Sifu Renka
Cramming in your daily five servings of fruits and vegetables is getting scarier by the day.The Environmental Working Group is out with an updated list of what it calls the Dirty Dozen Plus — common supermarket foods that are covered in chemicals. This year, the list features first-timers like green beans, kale and collard greens.
To compile their “shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce,” researchers analysed 10 years of USDA and Food and Drug Administration pesticide residue tests on foods that had been washed and peeled.
According to the report, in 2010, 68 per cent of food samples still had detectable pesticide residue.
The organisation also made a list of the least contaminated produce, called the Clean 15. This includes onions, corn, pineapple and avocado — all of which have thick peels that make it difficult for pesticides to penetrate.
Here’s a look at the “dirtiest” fruits and veggies:
Dirty Dozen Plus (lower numbers equal more pesticides):
1. Apples: 98 per cent of apples had pesticides
2. Celery: 13 different pesticides were found on a single sample
3. Sweet bell peppers: 15 pesticides were found on a single sample
5. Strawberries: 13 different pesticides were found on a single strawberry
6. Imported nectarines: Every nectarine tested by the USDA had “measurable pesticide residues”
7. Grapes: With 64 different chemicals, grapes had more types of pesticides than any other fruit
9. Lettuce: Tested positive for 78 different pesticides
10. Cucumbers: 81 different pesticide residues were found
11. Blueberries: Tested positive for 43 different pesticides
12. Potatoes: 91 per cent tested positive for pesticides
13: Green Beans