Dirty Dozen: Top 12 produce with the most pesticides
Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWS) publishes a list of the top 12 produce with the most pesticides called the ‘Dirty Dozen.’
Pesticides are chemicals very commonly used today in agriculture to fend off potential pests like insects, rodents, weeds, bacteria, molds, fungus, and more.
According to a piece in Scitable, a publication by Nature Education, pesticides may pose some serious health risks:
After countless studies, pesticides have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD, and even birth defects. Pesticides also have the potential to harm the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the endocrine system. Pesticides can even be very harmful to fetuses because the chemicals can pass from the mother during pregnancy or if a woman nurses her child. Although one piece of fruit with pesticides won’t kill you, if they build up in your body, they can be potentially detrimental to your health and should be avoided as much as possible.
For the past years, apples have topped EWG’s Dirty Dozen list. This year they has moved down to first while one of America’s favorites move to number one — strawberries.
Research showed that a shocking 98 percent of all strawberry samples contained pesticides. This was more than all the other produce with the most pesticides. Some of these chemicals are linked to diseases, hormone disruption, neurological problems and reproductive or developmental damage.
“It is startling to see how heavily strawberries are contaminated with residues of hazardous pesticides,” says Sonya Lunder, EWG senior analyst, in a statement.
Here is the 2016 ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of the produce with the most pesticides:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
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1. “Strawberries Top ‘Dirty Dozen’ Pesticide List.” WebMD. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
2. “EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.” EWG. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
3. “The Dangers of Pesticides.” Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
4. “Food and Pesticides.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.