The produce is listed in order, beginning with those which are most contaminated. Most of us know about the dangers of pesticides, but just to reiterate, they have been linked to memory disorders, respiratory problems, depression, skin conditions, birth defects, higher rates of miscarriage, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.
Astonishingly, a study carried out by researchers at the Public Health Institute, the California Department of Health Services, and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health found that it was six times more likely that a child exposed to toxic pesticides while in the womb would have autism.
The EWG’s “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” may be especially useful to parents who are trying to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into their child’s diet. Evidence has shown that the human brain is not fully formed until around the age of 12, and childhood exposure to some common pesticides may have a negative impact on the development of the central nervous system.
Not all of us have the opportunity or the means to buy 100% organic fruit and veg. This is why the EWG creates their guide every year – to inform us of the fruit and vegetables that should be bought as organic. When picking up the 12 following produce items, you definitely shouldn’t buy them unless they’re organic.
10. Sweet bell peppers
11. Cherry tomatoes
Luckily there’s some good news as the EWG also have a guide for those fruit and vegetables that have very little pesticide contamination at all. These are known as the “Clean Fifteen” and can be seen below:
2. Sweet corn
5. Frozen sweet peas