CLEVELAND - An apple a day keeps the doctor away - unless it's covered in chemicals.
The Environmental Working Group on Tuesday released its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of the produce with the most pesticide residue. This year, apples are the number one offender, with 98 percent of tested, conventional apples having detectable levels of chemicals.
EWG advocates healthy produce alternatives in organic products.
“The explosive growth in market share for organic produce in recent years testifies to a simple fact that pesticide companies and the farmers who use their products just can’t seem to grasp: people don’t like to eat food contaminated by pesticides,” said EWG president Ken Cook in a news release.
The "Dirty Dozen" list this year actually has 15 produce items because the last items did not meet traditional criteria, "but were commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides," the group said.
The offenders, in order of their ranking are celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, potatoes, green beans and kale and collard greens.
EWG also reported this year on baby food, which had alarming results about pears prepared into baby food.
Testers found 92 percent of pear samples tested positive for pesticide residue. Three samples contained the pesticide iprodione, which government regulators have labeled as a probable human carcinogen.
“This year’s guide will also give new parents pause,” Cook said in the release. “Government scientists have found disturbing concentrations of pesticides in some baby foods.
EWG takes the results and government information to compile a shopping guide for consumers. Read more about the group's report here . (Mobile users, go to ewg.org ) It also includes a list called the "Clean Fifteen" to help consumers see which non-organic produce has the least amount of chemical residue.
EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. Its website says its mission is to use "the power of information to protect human health and the environment."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
A new coronavirus has now claimed 22 lives worldwide out of 44 lab-confirmed cases, mostly in Saudi Arabia, World Health Organization officials said Thursday.
Researchers are finding even more ways that mobile phones impact -- and reveal -- our well-being.
Is sweet corn on your menu this Memorial day? Why not try grilling or roasting it? Let's Dish host Chris Koetke says charring the husk adds wonderful layers of flavor. Here is his twist on the summer favorite.