A recent story by FOX Business has concluded that strawberries are now officially the most contaminated product, surpassing apples as the produce containing the most pesticides. Citing the 2016 Environmental Shopper’s Guide, 98% of strawberries that were tested had detectable amounts of pesticide residue.
“It is startling to see how heavily strawberries are contaminated with residues of hazardous pesticides, but even more shocking is that these residues don’t violate the weak U.S. laws and regulations on pesticides in food,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG senior analyst.
Through heavy use of pesticides, strawberries are no longer a seasonal crop. Growers have been able to significantly increase the fruit’s growing season and yields through greater amounts of pesticides. Such pesticides have been linked to cancer, reproductive damage, neurological problems, and hormone disruption.
“The EPA’s levels of residues allowed on produce are too lax to protect Americans’ health. They should be updated to reflect new research that shows even very small doses of toxic chemicals can be harmful, particularly for young children,” adds Lunder.
One effective way pesticides residue can be removed from produce is through using a food wash other than just plain water. Harvest is an all-natural food wash + preservative. All of the ingredients of Harvest are considered GRAS by the FDA and it is certified by the USDA as a “Biopreferred” product. It not only washes away residual pesticides, but it also increases the shelf-life of produce.
“Washing produce with water only removes thirty percent of the dirt and pesticide residue”, says EcoDiscoveries chemist Eric Richter. “Take the triple-rinsed salad blends you find in the grocery store. If you spray the salad blend with Harvest and then dry it in a salad spinner, you’ll see significant amounts of dirt and other particulates in the dirty water spun off by the spinner. The salad blend will also last longer as will most fruits, because you’re also removing not just dirt, but also possible mold and bacteria that is not visible to the naked eye.”