Let you dare not eat anything? Is the pesticide residue on the "dirtyest vegetables and fruits" serious?

Let you dare not eat anything? Is the pesticide residue on the "dirtyest vegetables and fruits" serious?

What you should know

Since 2004, the US non-profit environmental protection organization EWG has launched the " Guidelines for Pesticide Residues in Agricultural Products" annually , listing 12 crops most polluted by pesticides, and encouraging consumers to switch to organic diets. However, in fact, the so-called "high level of pesticide residues" listed in this guideline is still far lower than the "maximum pesticide residue tolerance", so the guideline's recommendations are highly controversial.
According to the survey report on "Top 100 Social Issues in my country" published by the National Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center of the National Laboratory Research Institute, among the issues most concerned by Taiwanese, "pollution or pesticide residues" ranked third. Globally, "pesticide residues" have always been a topic of great concern, but such high attention has also made it easy to magnify the relevant issues and even reduce them to "fear marketing."
Since 2004, the U.S. nonprofit environmental working group (EWG) has launched the EWG's Shopper's Guide based on pesticide testing data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). to Pesticides in Produce”, which lists 12 crops (DIRTY DOZEN) and 15 cleanest crops (CLEAN FIFTEEN) most polluted by pesticides. When the guide is published in the United States every year, it will make headlines and be cited by many media and medical experts. When in fact, are pesticide residues on vegetables and fruits on the guide really so serious?

Strawberries topped the dirtiest list for five consecutive years, and avocado and sweet corn are the cleanest?

According to the 2020 Guidelines for Pesticide Residues in Agricultural Products, the 12 crops with the highest pesticide content are ranked in order of strawberry, spinach, kale, sweet peach, apple , grape , peach , cherry, pear, tomato, celery and potato . The results of this ranking are not only the same as in 2019, but strawberry has also ranked first for the fifth consecutive year.
The difference is that the EWG has traditionally focused on vegetables and fruits in the past, but since the USDA first tested raisins in 2019 (since 2007), the EWG also compared them. It was found that 99% of the "non-organic raisins" samples contained at least 2 pesticide residues. If they are included in the ranking, they will become the first place on the list, with at least 90% pesticides than strawberries, sweet peaches, apples and cherries. The residual results are more serious.
The 15 cleanest crops with the least pesticide residues are avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, onion, papaya, frozen sweet pea, eggplant, asparagus, cauliflower, cantaloupe, broccoli, mushroom, cabbage, melon and singularity. fruit. The EWG pointed out that 70% of these 15 crops have not detected any pesticide residues, and even less than 2% of avocado and sweet corn samples have detected pesticides.

Truth: No matter how much pesticide remains, it is far below the safety standard!

Since the introduction of the "Pesticide Residues Guide for Agricultural Products", consumers have been advised to switch to buying organic agricultural products to reduce the risk of exposure to pesticides in their diets. Every year, newspapers, magazines, TV and other media report, and even millions of Americans The purchasing decision has considerable influence.
However, many researchers have warned consumers that this guide should be viewed with suspicion. As early as 2011, the International Journal of Toxicology published a study that directly named the EWG and questioned that it did not specifically quantify the impact of these so-called "most serious pesticide residues" crops on consumers. And through the survey, pointed out that the pesticide exposure level in this ranking is negligible and meaningless. In addition, the study also pointed out that even organic agricultural products often contain pesticide residues. (Note: In Taiwan, pesticide residues of organic agricultural products cannot be detected.)
The USDA report released in 2015 also pointed out that the pesticide residues of these fresh agricultural products are actually far lower than the safety level set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In vernacular, even if there is pesticide residue, as long as it is cleaned and eaten properly, it will not affect human health and safety.

It’s more important to worry about how to clean vegetables and fruits

In most countries in the world, based on the daily allowable intake of a substance, local dietary habits, field pesticide testing, and international standards, the "Maximum Residual Tolerance of Pesticides (MRL)" and "Daily Maximum Safe Intake (ADI)". The government will continue to make adjustments according to the situation, and regularly check and verify whether the foods on the market meet the regulations.
Under the premise of strict government control, people do not have to panic pesticide residues excessively, as long as they rinse the roots or fruit pedicles with running water before eating or cooking vegetables and fruits, then soak them in water for 10 to 20 minutes, and then use the flowing Rinse with tap water 2 to 3 times, open the lid when cooking vegetables, etc., can effectively reduce pesticide residues.


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