Health

Dirty Dozen

That old saw about an apple a day may be past its best before date. That little apple you feel so good about eating has a nasty surprise. A U.S. food safety watchdog called The Environmental Working Group says apples top its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticides. The researchers figure apples went to the top of the list because more pesticides and fungicides are being applied after the harvest to give the fruit a longer shelf life.

Other foods named the worst of the worst: celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale. The group says more than 90 per cent of samples they tested had detectable pesticide residues, some with two or more different pesticides.

So the question is: does this mean you should avoid these fruits and veg – which in their natural state would be among the healthiest foods? The group is adamant that a healthy diet outweighs the risks of pesticide exposure. But if you can afford it, the best solution would be to buy organic when you pick up these 12 items.

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