Strawberries remain at the top of the Dirty Dozen™ list of the EWG Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, with spinach jumping to second place in the annual ranking of conventionally grown produce with the most pesticide residues. EWG's analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventional produce were contaminated with residues of one or more pesticides. USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.
Of all the fresh fruits and vegetables available for sale in the United States, sweet, sun-kissed strawberries are the most likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues, according to EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. This year, for the first time strawberries top EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of produce with the highest amount of pesticide, even after you’ve washed them. Other dirty produce includes peaches, nectarines and apples – previously No. 1 for five years running.
The Environmental Working Group's 2014 "Shopper's Guide" to pesticides in produce was published earlier this year. In the graphic above we list their "Clean 15," and in the graphic below we list their "Dirty Dozen." Two-thirds of produce samples in recent government tests had pesticide residues. Their guide lists the results of pesticide residues in conventionally-grown produce in the U.S.