Blueberries and green beans have been added to the 2023 Dirty Dozen list of non-organic produce with the most pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group‘s (EWG) annual report.
Kale, collard and mustard greens topped the list in the report, which analyzed testing data on 46,569 samples of 46 fruits and vegetables conducted by the US Department of Agriculture.
Pesticides found on the Dirty Dozen are toxic and have potential harmful health implications, particularly for children. On the other hand, concerned consumers can choose vegetables and fruits from the EWG’s Clean 15 list, a list of crops that tested lowest in pesticides, such as avocados, sweet corn, and pineapple.
It is especially important for developing children to avoid pesticides. Nearly 90% of blueberry and green bean samples tested had concerning findings, including pesticides that are banned by the Environmental Protection Agency.
While some pesticide levels have decreased since the Food Quality Protection Act was put into place, other pesticides have been substituted, which may not be safer.
However, some industry associations argue that consumers should not skip fresh produce altogether, and farmers use pesticides to control insects and fungal diseases that threaten the healthfulness and safety of fruits and vegetables.
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