THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON MIND BODY GREEN.

Every year, the Environmental Working Group researches the conventionally grown fruits and veggies that contain the most pesticides, sharing the results with the public through Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen Lists. Last year, strawberries were found to be the “dirtiest” produce source. Read on to find out how things are looking this year.

Strawberries remain at the top of the 2017 Dirty Dozen™ list of EWG’s 2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, with spinach jumping to second place in the annual ranking of conventionally grown produce with the most pesticide residues.

EWG’s analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventional produce were contaminated with residues of one or more pesticides. USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

“Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic,” said Sonya Lunder, an EWG senior analyst.

Lunder said it’s particularly important to reduce young children’s exposures to pesticides. The pesticide industry and chemical agriculture maintain that pesticides on produce are nothing to worry about, but doctors and scientists strongly disagree.

“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.

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