An Apple A Day…Oh, Never Mind
The Environmental Working Group's seventh annual analysis of pesticides in fruits and vegetables has identified some bad apples. The organization’s Dirty Dozen list, released today, says that apples were found to have a high amount of pesticide residue even after being washed and peeled; ninety-two percent of the apples the group tested contained two or more pesticides. In fact, apples leapfrogged celery, peaches, and strawberries, the 2010 list’s worsts, to land at the top of the list. That may give the favorite gift of every teacher’s pet an unexpected sinister intent.
"We think what's happening to apples is more pesticides and fungicides are being applied after the harvest so the fruit can have a longer shelf life," EWG analyst Sonya Lunder told USA Today. "Pesticides might be in small amounts, but we don't know what the subtle, long-term effects of many of these pesticides are yet."
The top five worst offenders on the new list are, in order, apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, and spinach. EWG recommends eating organic, or at minimum picking from its Clean 15 list, which includes some surprisingly enticing offerings, such as corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, mangoes, and watermelon.