Environmental Group Adds 3 Vegetables To Its Annual Dirty Dozen List | Way of life
Since 2004, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has published an annual list of fruits and vegetables that the group calls Dirty Dozen because they are deemed to contain the most pesticides. But there are a few surprises in this year’s list.
With kale alone in third place since 2019 – the first time it has been on the list in 10 years – the group has added mustard greens and collard greens to its side. All three are known to be low in calories, high in fiber, and have antioxidant qualities. Strawberries are # 1 and spinach comes in at # 2 on the list.
Peppers, tested for the first time since 2012, and hot peppers (hot peppers), reached No.10, propelling tomatoes to No.11.
The EWG’s annual Buyer’s Guide to Pesticides in Products is based on test data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The group has identified, according to a press release, which fresh fruits and vegetables contain the most and the least pesticide residues. You can find the list on www.ewg.org.
Among the results, the quoted GTE included:
70% of non-organic fresh produce sold in the United States contained pesticides. 20 different pesticides were found in a single sample of the three leafy greens in spot # 3. 115 pesticides – the highest amount – were found on the peppers.
“Whether organic or conventionally grown, fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a healthy diet,” EWG toxicologist Thomas Galligan said in a press release. “We urge consumers who are concerned about their pesticide consumption to consider, if possible, purchasing organic versions of the foods on EWG’s Dirty Dozen, or conventional products from our Clean Fifteen.”
The annual report is not without controversy.
What’s important to note is that dietitians and health experts recommend that the overall goal be for Americans to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables for a healthy, balanced diet.
The Food and Agriculture Alliance (AFF), a staunch opponent of the EWG’s annual list, says it shows a negative impact on fruit and vegetable consumption.
“Last year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) faced significant criticism from the nutrition community for escalating and inaccurately perpetuating consumer safety fears over these so healthy foods. that our world was shutting down because of the pandemic, ”Teresa Thorne, executive director of AFF said in a press release. “The EWG continues to reject the needs of consumers and disrespect farmers by choosing to falsely denigrate the food itself. Health experts agree that we should eat more every day to improve immune function, prevent disease and increase lifespan. ”
They also point out that the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program report found that 99% of samples tested were below safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, over 40% of the products tested did not contain any detectable pesticide residue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in 10 Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables per day. The CDC recommends that adults eat 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day.
AFF also highlights studies that eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day can reduce the risk of certain diseases. Another study from Tufts University found that prescribing fruits and vegetables would prevent nearly 2 million cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, 350,000 deaths and reduce health costs by $ 40 billion.
AFF finds that the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list creates fear and discourages consumers from buying – organic or not.
“With only one in 10 Americans eating enough fruits and vegetables each day, we should promote consumption to improve immune function and prevent disease, not discourage it with tactics like the Dirty Dozen list,” Thorne added.
Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., toxicologist at EWG, says the group advises that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, organic or conventional and including frozen and canned, should be a priority.
“There is growing evidence that chronic low dose exposure to a mixture of pesticides can have adverse effects on human health, especially during sensitive developmental periods such as pregnancy and childhood,” Temkin said in an email to the Free Press.
EWG said they realize that having access to and being able to afford organic produce is not always an option. That’s why, they said, the group created their “Clean 15” Buyers Guide.
While the EWG list is based on USDA data, most of the pesticide residues detected fall within established government levels.
In addition to the Dirty Dozen list, EWG publishes its list of fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticides. At the top of this list is the beloved avocado. Also, on the list are asparagus, cabbage, and cauliflower – all known as nutritional stars.
To help consumers, AFF offers an easy-to-use risk to safefruitsandveggies.com showing how many servings of a specific fruit or vegetable one should eat without any effect on the highest amount of pesticide residue recorded by the USDA.
With peppers, that would make 196 servings for a woman in a day.
To handle fruits and vegetables safely, the FDA recommends washing them before eating or using them.
EWG LIST OF THE MOST CONTAMINATED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Strawberries Spinach Kale, green cabbage and mustard Nectarines Apples Grapes Cherries Peaches Pears Cloche and peppers Celery Tomatoes
EWG’S OWN 15
Avocados Sweet corn * Pineapple Onions Papaya * Sweet peas (frozen) Eggplant Asparagus Broccoli Cabbage Kiwi Cauliflower Mushrooms Honeydew melon Cantaloupe