The 2023 Dirty Dozen™ List is out! Here are the foods that contain the most pesticide residues:
- Kale, collard & mustard greens
- Bell and hot peppers
- Green beans
The list is released each year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization which uses more than 40,000 produce samples tested by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
If your favourite fruit or vegetable is on the list, consider buying organic. Several peer-reviewed studies and clinical trials have shown that switching to an organic diet can decrease concentrations and measurements of pesticides in the body.
WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT PESTICIDES?
Childhood cancer, brain disorders such as ADHD/ autism/ dyslexia and infertility have all been linked to pesticide exposure. The pesticide industry and chemical agriculture insist that pesticides on produce are nothing to worry about, but doctors and scientists strongly disagree.
Dr. Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard and lead author of a 2014 study linking synthetic chemicals to brain disorders, is concerned because even ordinary (undiagnosed) children are often affected. In the study, he found that certain types of pesticides may cause cognitive delays. “The greatest concern is the large numbers of children who are affected by toxic damage to brain development in the absence of a formal diagnosis… They suffer reduced attention span, delayed development, and poor school performance. Industrial chemicals are now emerging as likely causes.”
“Even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants, babies and young children, so when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children’s exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.