The Environmental Working Group released it’s 2019 Dirty Dozen list and some of the findings have been shocking.
This year, the report found that almost 70% of non-organic samples tested positive for at least one pesticide. (In many cases, the numbers were much higher.) EWG stated they had not tested kale in over a decade and were shocked to find that 92% of the kale samples harbored 18 different pesticide and pesticide breakdown residues.
In fact, EWG found non-organic kale to be the third most contaminated produce item behind strawberries and spinach.
The most frequently detected pesticide, found on nearly 60 percent of kale samples, was Dacthal, or DCPA – classified by the Environmental Protection Agency since 1995 as a possible human carcinogen, and prohibited for use in Europe since 2009.
Overall, the USDA found 225 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on popular fruits and vegetables Americans eat every single day.
Before testing, every piece of produce was washed and peeled, just as people would prepare food for themselves, which shows that simple washing does not remove all pesticides.
The most disturbing and difficult part is that many of these chemicals are banned for use on food in other countries. Yet, they don’t violate U.S. laws.
A “Clean 15” list is also included in the report, identifying the non-organic produce least likely to be contaminated with pesticide levels.
I advise choosing organic as often as possible to ensure the least amount of toxicity, but if you are on a budget and need to be selective these lists will help you focus on avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and stick with what is the cleanest option for you and your family.
“Fruits and vegetables are an important part of everyone’s diet, and when it comes to some conventionally grown produce items, such as kale, choosing organic may be a better option.” says EWG Toxicologist Alexis Temkin, PhD.
To view the full report head over to www.ewg.org