EWG's Dirty Dozen

June 07, 2019

Food with the highest pesticides

More people around the world are jumping on the bandwagon of living healthier lifestyle holistically, be in opting for ‘cleaner’, non-toxic or organic products to use, healthier foods to eat and less sugary drinks (yes, which includes those bubble teas you love!).  Other than practicing conscious beauty, it is also important to make conscious food choices and consider the impact of pesticides in your food choices to yourself and your families.

Pesticides have been notoriously known to cause long-term effects such as leukemia, neurological problems, birth defects, fetal death and ever since, a number of pesticides have been banned or are in the process of being phased out around the world.

Recently, there has been a study done by EWG that tests the common fruits and vegetables families usually consume and rank them according to those with the highest amount of pesticide residue and those that contain the least amount of pesticide residue. Before we go down this list, we must stress that this should not deter you from avoiding the fruits and vegetables aisle completely! The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables far outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. 

EWG's Dirty Dozen for 2019

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

According to EWG, these foods contain the highest amount of pesticide residue. Some highlights of the findings are that:

  • More than 90 percent of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and kale tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides
  • Multiple samples of kale showed 18 different pesticides
  • Kale and spinach samples had, on average, 1.1 to 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop

They have also released a finding on 15 of the cleanest food that has the least pesticide residue.

EWG's Clean Fifteen for 2019

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Frozen sweet peas
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbages
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew melons

Some of the key findings are:

  • Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest. Less than 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
  • More than 70 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no pesticide residues.
  • With the exception of cabbage, all other produce on the Clean Fifteen tested positive for less than four pesticides.
  • Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. Only 6 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.

We know that it is not practical for most families to substitute all conventional food with organic food given how costly organic food and produce can be. Therefore, this shopper’s guide provided by EWG is meant to provide guidance so that consumers who want to limit pesticide exposure can either choose varieties with low scores (their Clean 15 list) or substitute organic produce for foods that are listed on the Dirty Dozen. I like knowing that I probably should buy organic strawberries so my kids aren’t poisoned by the nasty chemicals that might linger on the fruit and can probably opt for cheaper, conventional avocados which probably won’t harm my family (at least, not right away anyway).

Make use of this knowledge and let us choose a healthier lifestyle for our skin as well as for our body. If there is a particular food that you would like to know more about, you can visit this link and find out more.


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