Strawberries have done it again.
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For the third straight year, strawberries have topped the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue.
According to EWG’s annual shopper’s guide report, about a third of all strawberry samples tested has at least 10 pesticides on it. One sample, in particular, had an “astounding” 22 pesticide residues found.
Strawberries first topped the list in 2016, surpassing apples, which held the position as the most pesticide-ridden produce for five years in a row. Apples have since fallen to the fourth spot on the list, but the group still detected that 90% of conventional apples had detectable pesticide residues — with 80% of them containing a pesticide that has been banned in Europe.
Spinach, also held its rein in the second spot from last year, with 97% of samples tested containing pesticide residues. What’s more, conventional spinach had relatively high concentrations of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide.
EWG said it bases its findings on nearly 39,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture tests of 47 non-organic fruits and vegetables. Overall, it said it found that nearly 70% of “conventionally grown produce” has pesticides and almost all — 98% -- of fruits such as strawberries, peaches and nectarines contained at least one pesticide.
On the plus side, however, EWG also released its ‘’Clean Fifteen” shopper’s guide, showcasing the least contaminated produce on the market. Avocados topped the list with fewer than 1% of them testing positive for pesticides.
Full list of 2018’s Dirty Dozen
12. Sweet bell peppers
The Clean Fifteen
2. Sweet corn
6. Sweet peas, frozen
11. Honeydew melons