Top 12 Dirtiest Foods of 2014
The best way to get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, but pesticides and harmful chemicals sprayed on crops make “nature’s foods” some of the most toxic.
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The nonprofit advocacy agency, Environmental Working Group (EWG), recently released its 10th annual Shopper’s Guide To Pesticides in Produce listing the most pesticide-contaminated produce and the cleanest.
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The EWG’s rankings are compiled from U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration data on 48 fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue. Two-thirds of produce samples tested positive for pesticide residue.
“For decades, various toxic pesticides were claimed to be ‘safe’ — until they weren’t, and either banned or phased out because they posed risks to people,” Sonya Lunder, EWG’s senior analyst and author of the Shopper’s Guide report said in a statement. “While regulators and scientists debate these and other controversies about pesticide safety, EWG will continue drawing attention to the fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide loads.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides have been linked to nervous and endocrine system disruption, developmental problems in children and increased cancer risk.
From the list of 48 tested produce items, the EWG offers a quick and easy “Dirty Dozen” list of the 12 most contaminated foods which you should always buy organic (#1 on the list just may surprise you), and the “Clean 15” list of the 15 cleanest foods.
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Dirty Dozen (Note: The lower the number = more contaminated)
11. Snap pea (imported)
10. Cherry tomatoes
8. Nectarines (imported)
7. Sweet bell peppers
Clean 15 (Note: The lower the number = more clean)
15. Sweet potatoes
13. Cantaloupe (domestic)
5. Sweet peas (frozen)
2. Sweet corn
So, don’t stop eating your fruits and veggies! The purpose of this list is to make you a more informed consumer and to help you shop smarter. Buy organic when you can, especially for items on the Dirty Dozen list, and eat plenty of foods from the Clean 15.
To read the full list, click here.
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