Strawberries contain dangerous levels of pesticides linked to cancer, obesity, and infertility, study warns

 

  • Researchers claim 70% of strawberries have dangerous pesticides in them
  • The annual report also warned against spinach, pears and nectarines
  • Studies link pesticide ingestion to obesity, Parkinson’s, infertility and diabetes 
  • The healthiest produce were sweet corn and avocados 

 

Strawberries are the most toxic foods in your supermarket, according to an environmental watchdog.

Researchers found 70 percent of the juicy red morsels have traces of pesticides.

That is higher than any other fruit or vegetable – pushing strawberries to the top of the Environmental Working Group’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list.

While the effects of pesticides are unknown, studies detailed below have linked the chemicals to cancer, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and infertility.

Completing the top five, researchers singled out spinach, nectarines, apples, and peaches as particularly contaminated.

For those who want to steer clear of pesticides, you’re best sticking to Mexican cuisine: sweet corn and avocados were awarded the top spots of the EWG’s ‘Clean Fifteen’ list.

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THE DIRTY DOZEN

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Nectarines

4. Apples

5. Peaches

6. Pears

7. Cherries

8. Grapes

9. Celery

10. Tomatoes

11. Bell peppers

12. Potatoes

 

Pears have made it into the list for the first time since the EWG started its annual reports – coming in straight at number 6.

Celery, grapes, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and potatoes were also on the list.

To compile the list, researchers analyzed 48 popular fruits and vegetables based on an analysis of more than 36,000 samples taken by the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration.

The USDA doesn’t test every food every year. EWG generally used the most recent sampling period for each food.

They found more than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.

A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.

Spinach samples had, on average, twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.

The least contaminated products were sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.

Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues on them.

Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest: only 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.

More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbage had no pesticide residues.

And no single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four types of pesticides.

THE CLEAN FIFTEEN

Sweet corn

Avocados

Pineapples

Cabbage

Onions

Sweet peas (frozen)

Papayas

Asparagus

Mango

Eggplant

Honeydew melon

Kiwi

Cantaloupe

Cauliflower

Grapefruit

 

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