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What Produce Has the Most Pesticide Residue?

Apples, celery, strawberries, spinach and peaches are the types of produce that might have the most pesticide residue, even after being washed and peeled. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that 98 percent of apples in a 700-apple sample had residue from at least one of 48 different pesticides, and 92 percent had residue from two or more pesticides. Other "dirty" produce can include grapes, nectarines, bell peppers and potatoes, along with domestic blueberries, lettuce and kale. Despite the dramatic numbers, the pesticides found were mostly within the Environmental Protection Agency's standards for safe consumption. Worried consumers can lower their risk of pesticide exposure — possibly by more than 90 percent — by choosing "clean" foods such as mushrooms, grapefruit, asparagus, pineapples and onions, which had the lowest levels of pesticides.

More facts about fruit and vegetables:

  • Apples are the second-most-consumed fruit in the U.S., after bananas. U.S. consumers eat about 46 pounds (about 20 kg) of apples or apple products per person each year.

  • Children tend to be more sensitive to pesticides than adults. The Environmental Protection Agency advises consumers to wash all produce for 10 seconds under cold water to reduce pesticide exposure in both children and adults.

  • More than 2.6 million tons of pesticides are used annually around the world.

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More Info: www.epa.gov

Discuss this Article

anon211645
Post 2

This article seriously underplays the danger of pesticides. There are many food additives and pesticides which are "GRAS" (Generally Regarded As Safe) in the U.S. but which will not be purchased overseas because of those same contaminants. You don't have to be a "crazy foodie" to know that the US standards are lax at best, and nonexistent at worst. There is a wealth of information on the Internet, so you can educate and choose for yourself. Please.

If nothing else, please keep these poisonous foods out of the mouths of babies and small children whose neurological systems are the most susceptible to damage. Pregnant women should also take care.

anon211621
Post 1

What kind of consequences are there to consuming these pesticides? When it says that children are more sensitive, in what way are they more affected?

Personally, I've self-diagnosed myself with various food allergies, and I tend to react to the products mentioned here with esophageal swelling and discomfort. Now, I'm wondering if this could be a reaction to pesticides rather than the fruits/veggies themselves?

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