According to a new study from a widely-respected health advocacy group, almost 70% of the fresh fruits and vegetables you’re buying in the USA, will carry pesticide residues on it even after you have washed it.
U.S. Department of Agriculture data offers grim evidence of the over-saturation of pesticides and toxic chemicals in conventional agriculture in the USA, with top crops such as spinach and strawberries counting among the most contaminated produce.
Most surprisingly, kale–that trendy dark green super food that’s risen to the top of health-conscious grocers’ lists in the past decade–is among the top three contaminated fruits and vegetables. Some kale sampled carried the residue of no less than 18 different types of pesticides.
Both spinach and kale carried between 10% to 80% more pesticide residue by sheer weight than any other crop, respectively ranking second and third on the “dirty dozen” list of popular vegetables carrying the most pesticides.
Strawberries lead the pack, containing an average of nearly 8 different pesticides per sample–a shocking figure when considering that the average U.S. resident consumes around eight pounds of fresh strawberries per year.
The use of toxic pesticides in agricultural communities has seen California cities such as Oxnard, Santa Maria and Watsonville face mounting numbers of respiratory disorders, birth defects and illnesses, particularly by farm workers and neighborhoods near the fields.
And while the European Union has banned many of the pesticides used by U.S. strawberry growers, lobbyists from corporations like Dow Chemical Company have ensured that government turns a blind eye to the overuse of carcinogenic pesticides.
All nutritional experts and scientists agree that people benefit from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh produce–be it organic or conventional, depending on people’s budgetary constraints.
Yet the continued excessive usage of pesticides–largely by big food manufacturers and growers seeking to minimize costs–has made it difficult for health experts and regulatory bodies to accurately gauge the extent of pesticide exposure in our day-to-day lives, let alone to understand how the combinations of chemicals we’re exposed to can affect our bodies.
EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” for 2019 is:
Reveal News Organization / ABC Flash Point Food News 2019.