Increase in Pesticides for Spinach and Pears


Strictly buying only organic food for every meal is not usually in the budget for most of us. But buying only conventionally grown produce means a whole lot of pesticide residue on your plate and in your body. So, what is a frugal, yet health-minded consumer to do?

Well, there ARE some fruits and veggies that you absolutely should buy organic or go without them altogether (I’m looking at you, strawberries). But, there are others that you can buy non-organic versions of and not worry too much (yay, avocados). The Environmental Working Group (EWG) takes the guesswork out of it all with their yearly Dirty Dozen™ list.  The produce you find on this list should be avoided unless you can get organically grown versions. Please note that you will need to check back each year as it often changes. Strawberries are on the top of the list for the second year in a row, but prior to that apples were the worst offenders. Spinach jumped up the list to 2nd place from 8th place and the almighty pear made the list for the first time ever.

EWG’s “key findings”:

  • More than 98% 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.


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