Watch What You Eat: Strawberries Top The 2017 Pesticide List
May is National Strawberry Month, but before you head to the store to snag a carton of the freshly ripened berries, it’s important you know what you’re really about to put into your body first.
What many don’t know is that the majority of store-bought produce is chalk full of hazardous pesticides.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, roughly 70 percent of samples of the 48 assorted types of conventional produce tested were contaminated with the residues of one or more pesticides, which can remain on fruits and vegetables even once they’ve been washed and peeled.
As revealed in the EWG’s annual report, the most contaminated sample was that of strawberries, which tested positive for 20 different types of pesticides, giving the chemical-laden fruit the top spot on the Dirty Dozen™ list of the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™.
Spinach came in second place close behind strawberries for highest pesticide content – the spinach samples tested had an average of twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
With the high chemical levels present in produce, you’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to reach the daily recommended fruit and vegetable intake without putting your health at risk – an EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder says, “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic.
So what can you do to avoid the consumption of risky chemicals but still enjoy indulging in your favorite produce this season? Before you make your next trip to the grocery store, check out our article The 15 Foods You Must Buy Organic for a complete produce shopping guide.