• Strawberries, spinach and kale among most pesticide-heavy
• Conventionally farmed kale could contain up to 18 pesticides
About 70% of fresh produce sold in the US has pesticide residues on it even after it is washed, according to a health advocacy group.
According to the Environmental Working Group’s annual analysis of US Department of Agriculture data, strawberries, spinach and kale are among the most pesticide-heavy produce, while avocados, sweetcorn and pineapples had the lowest level of residues.
More than 92% of kale tested contained two or more pesticide residues, according to the analysis, and a single sample of conventionally farmed kale could contain up to 18 different pesticides.
Dacthal – the most common pesticide found, which was detected in nearly 60% of kale samples, is banned in Europe and classified as a possible human carcinogen in the US.
“We definitely acknowledge and support that everybody should be eating healthy fruits and vegetables as part of their diet regardless of if they’re conventional or organic,” said Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist working with the EWG.