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The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its 2020 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists — a catalog of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue. Strawberries topped the “Dirty Dozen” list for the fourth year in row.

More than 90 percent of produce sampled, including strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and kale, tested positive for two or more pesticides.

A recent French study published in JAMA Internal Medicine surveyed almost 70,000 participants and found that those who ate the most organic food were associated with 25 percent fewer cancers. Other studies have found that higher consumption of pesticide-laden foods can result in fertility problems.

Pesticide exposure is especially problematic for children and infants, says Boston College pediatrician and epidemiologist Philip Landrigan, MD.

“Infants, babies, and young children are exquisitely vulnerable to even low levels of pesticide exposure, so it’s important parents and caregivers take steps to safeguard children from these chemicals,” Landrigan says . “For many Americans, choosing an all-organic diet is not possible, so using EWG’s guide can help give consumers the tools to provide their families with a mix of both conventional and organic fruits and veggies without the pesticide punch.”

Take control of what you put in your body with this year’s EWG list of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen”:

The Dirty Dozen:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

+Hot peppers

The Clean Fifteen:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupe
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbages
  14. Honeydew melons
  15. Kiwi fruit

For a full list of where various fruits and veggies rank, visit the EWG website.

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