Terrifying Toxic Fruit List Will Change the Way You Eat

Say What!? 38

fruitRemember when eating fruits and vegetables was actually the healthy thing to do? I'm really starting to miss those days. Because another food safety report is out today to scare you out of shopping, this time from the folks over at the Environmental Working Group.

I keep thinking the move toward organic in the market would have forced regular produce sellers to step up their game. It's the lesson of supply and demand, right? Consumers are demanding organic, so the supply should be adjusted. But the EWG is saying no way: our favorite eats are still loaded down with pesticides. If anything, it looks like things have actually gotten worse -- they had to up their "buy organic" produce list from the Dirty Dozen to the Dirty Dozen Plus. Just check out the highlights on what to avoid:

Green Beans: One of two veggies added to the "Dirty Dozen" list of produce the EWG has always recommended you buy from an organic grower, green beans were found to be "commonly contaminated" with a type of insecticide that's dangerous to the nervous system.

More from The Stir: Your Favorite Fruit Is Ruining Your Teeth

Kale & Collard Greens: These were also added to the Dirty Dozen list, making it the Dirty Dozen Plus ... for the same reason as green beans.

Apples: Experts have long suggested these should be purchased from organic growers, so you'd think apple growers would be trying to fight off the challenge, right? Wrong. The new report claims 98 percent of conventional apples have detectable levels of pesticides.

Nectarines: There wasn't a single nectarine in the sample pile that didn't have some kind of pesticide residue.

Lettuce: Mmm, want some pesticide with your salad? The report claims there were 78 different pesticides on lettuce samples.

Blueberries: The report shows domestic blueberries were positive for 42 different pesticide residues. Eww!

Grapes: They may be tiny, but grape samples came in with a whopping 64 different kinds of chemicals.

Celery: On a single sample, the EWG says there were 13 different pesticides.

Strawberries: The same thing that happened with a single sample of celery occurred when researchers checked a single strawberry sample: 13 different pesticides.

That's just a smattering of the list -- you can check the EWG for their new "Dirty Dozen Plus" if you want to know what they recommend buying from the organic shelves -- but I have to say the fact that these pesticides continue to show up scares me more than the chemicals themselves! It means that the companies don't really care what we shoppers have to say.

Don't we live in a consumer-driven society? Shouldn't growers be listening to our demands for healthy food?

What do you think of the findings of this report? Will it change the way you shop for fruits and vegetables?


Image via srqpix/Flickr

eco-friendly, food safety, fruit


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Jessie Baade

As a kid that grew up with nursery folk, I don't get why all of a sudden people are shocked. Pesticides have been a routine ingredient in fruit growing since way before we were born. In fact, no one in my family has had cancer that wasn't skin related and I am sure I was inundated with the stuff just being around gypsy moth season. Remember the bi-plane cropdusters flying over the river valley? They weren't dropping fairy dust. Pesticides are numerous and diverse. I ain't saying that we should be swallowing them but I am saying that lumping them all into one word without the list of effects is more alarmist than it should be. Let the backlash commence....

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I would imagine the best ways to avoid things like this is buy local and WASH your fruit/veg before you eat them. Bring it home, rinse thoroughly and place in containers with paper towels. Im pretty sure these companies dont care too much about us. They want to make their money and preserve their crops to make that money..... If something finally gets changed, it'll definitely be an uphill battle...

dreamsky dreamsky

I can't afford organic. It's crazy all these things that are bad for us. I just wash my fruit eat it and hope for the best.

navyw... navywife0204

I buy organic when I can afford it.  Otherwise, its like the post above me says.  wash it and hope for the best.


kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

Nope just making sure we r vigilant about washing it good.

Buffy... Buffymom9

Overwhelmingly though, people are not demanding good food. It is just a small, margin of folks who are driving the organic food business.

nonmember avatar Cobi

Id love to be able to get organic things but unfortunately it's really expensive. I'm all for healthier green living but until they can make it affordable I can't buy it. It's unfortunate all the awareness they are making but it's unreachable for my wallet and many others. I will have to continue washing well and hoping for the best as well

Flori... Floridamom96

Um, yeah. I'm going to let a group with an agenda tell me what to eat. Actually, no, I'm not. Excellent response Jessie. I have no idea who the EWG is, but I know that it's enviromental natzis that are responsible for human deaths than all pesticides combined. Ever heard of DDT? The only effective mosquito killer banned throughut the world based on junk science. I'm pretty sure people like the EWG are not ever going to get my trust.

nonmember avatar RachelJane

I find it amusing that someone with "Diet Pepsi" coursing through her veins is pointing out what's healthy or not healthy to eat. I'd take a hand-washed apple over a pint of sodium benzoate any day.

Tonya Putnam

The problem with organic is that the growers can use things other than "chemicals" that are just as dangerous, such as infected human waste as their fertilizer and as long as they don't use too much, they can use pesticides that the FDA banned for good reason...  I think as long as you wash it before you eat it, you should be fine.

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