What fruit has the most pesticides this year?
The EWG tests produce for pesticides every year. They use those results to make the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. You can see the full lists here.
#1 on the Dirty Dozen this year is conventional strawberries!
99% of conventional strawberries have pesticide residues. Up to 22 different pesticides can be found on a single strawberry sample. Carbendazim (a hormone disruptor) was found on 46% of strawberries. Bifenthrin, a possible carcinogen, was found on 29% of strawberries.
Pesticides are toxins. Our bodies store pesticides in our fat which makes it harder to detoxify them. These toxins:
mess with our hormones
cause reproductive and developmental problems
cause kidney and liver damage
contribute to cancer.
According to the Toxics Action Center website, "pesticides cause special problems for children whose bodies and developing organs are particularly vulnerable." Mothers pass these toxins on to their children during pregnancy and breastfeeding. And then children take in pesticides at home, daycare, schools, and playgrounds.
Buy organic for all items on the Dirty Dozen list to avoid ingesting pesticides. I know that organic produce is usually more expensive than conventional produce. But it's worth it to spend the extra money on organic for everything on the Dirty Dozen list. If organic berries aren't on sale, then I buy frozen organic berries which are much cheaper. If you can only find conventional bell peppers, you can soak them in a water and vinegar (1 tbls) bath for 20 minutes before eating or cooking them.
Save your money and don't worry about buying organic from the Clean Fifteen list. If you don't want to buy all organic produce, then you can choose conventional for all items on the Clean list. Avocados are #1 on the clean list so I like to buy whichever ones are ripe and cheapest.
Keep your children as healthy as possible by giving them clean food. A healthy child is a happy little camper!