Why you should only buy organic strawberries: The summer-favorite fruit contains AT LEAST 20 pesticides

Strawberries contain the most pesticides of any fruit or vegetable, new research reveals.

The summer-favorite fruit contains at least 20 synthetic chemicals, a report found.

Other chemically-ridden produce includes spinach, nectarines and apples, the research adds.

Yet, only one percent of non-organic avocados and sweetcorn are contaminated with pesticide residues, the study found.

Other ‘clean’ produce are pineapples, cabbages, onions, frozen peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplants, honeydew melons, kiwis, cantaloupes, cauliflowers and grapefruits, the report adds.

THE ‘DIRTY DOZEN’

According to the Environmental Working Group, the produce with the most pesticide contamination are:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Potatoes

THE ‘CLEAN 15’

The least contaminated are:

  • Avocados
  • Sweetcorn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbages
  • Onions
  • Frozen peas
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplants
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwis
  • Cantaloupes
  • Cauliflowers
  • Grapefruits

How the study was carried out 

Researchers from the Environmental Working Group analyzed 48 types of popular non-organically grown fruit and vegetables.

The analysis was based on more than 36,000 samples collected by the The United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

All of the produce was washed prior to examination.

It was also peeled if appropriate.

Other chemically-ridden produce includes spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches and celery

Other chemically-ridden produce includes spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches and celery

Key findings 

Results revealed that nearly 70 percent of the samples were contaminated with pesticide residues, with 178 different chemicals being identified.

The foods that contain the highest number of pesticides, known as ‘the dirty dozen’, are strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes.

Yet, only one percent of the avocados and sweetcorn analyzed contained pesticides.

Other members of the so-called ‘clean 15’ are pineapples, cabbages, onions, frozen peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplants, honeydew melons, kiwis, cantaloupes, cauliflowers and grapefruits.

None of these ‘clean’ produce contain more than four types of pesticides.

How to avoid pesticides

Previous research by the University of Washington found that people who ‘often or always’ buy organic food have significantly less pesticides in their urine.

Pesticides have been linked to cancer, reduced brain development and behavioral problems in children.

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