By Dr. Mercola
Fresh produce, whether organic or conventionally grown, is one of the healthiest food choices you can make. Organic produce gains an edge, however, because it tends to be more nutritious, tastes better and, importantly, does not contain pesticide residues like conventional produce does. In fact, the No. 1 reason people go organic is to avoid pesticides and other chemicals,1 and the majority of Americans consume organic food at least occasionally.2
If your budget prevents you from buying organic food 100 percent of the time — or there’s not an adequate selection in your area — it’s useful to know which foods to prioritize over others. Namely, which conventional foods are the most contaminated and therefore the most important to buy organic?
Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases their “Dirty Dozen” list for produce, which are among the most heavily contaminated with pesticides. For 2018, you’ll see a familiar fruit earned the dubious top spot for the third year in a row: strawberries.
Nearly 70 Percent of Conventional Produce Contains Pesticide Residues
EWG analyzed tests from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which revealed close to 70 percent of conventionally grown produce samples contained pesticide residues. In all, 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products were identified in more than 38,800 nonorganic samples.
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While the Alliance for Food and Farming, a trade association that represents large produce growers and suppliers of pesticides and fertilizers,3 was quick to point out that 99 percent of pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables were below the…