Pesticide residue found on 70% of non-organic produce: study – Spectrum News NY1

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A new study from the nonprofit the Environmental Working Group found pesticide residue on 70% of non-organic produce.
The organization released its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables, with strawberries topping the list.
“Over 90% of strawberries, spinach, some of those other really high fruits and vegetables on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list can have two or more pesticides. So we’re really concerned multiple pesticide exposure,” said Alexis Tempkin, a toxicologist with the Environmental Working Group.
Tempkin joined Shannan Ferry and Rocco Vertuccio Saturday to discuss the health risks of pesticide exposure and what consumers can do to avoid risky produce on grocery store shelves.
“Consuming high levels of fruits and vegetables with a lot of those pesticide residues can sometimes be shown to offset the beneficial effects, like reduced cardiovascular disease, of eating fruits and vegetables,” Tempkin said.
While it won’t completely rid produce of pesticides, Tempkin recommends washing and peeling fruits and vegetables before eating. But eating organic, Tempkin says, is ideal.
The group also released a “Clean Fifteen” list, outlining the least-contaminated fruits and vegetables, including avocados, onions, pineapples, and other produce with thick outer layers, Tempkin said. Other items on the list are grown using fewer pesticides than their more pesticide-laden counterparts according to the study.