Each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization, releases a Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce that lists fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest pesticide residues.According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 90 percent of the strawberries sampled tested positive for two or more pesticides.Spinach is an easy food to buy organic—many grocery stores carry organic spinach and baby spinach in the fresh produce section, as well as frozen organic spinach.Over 92 percent of conventional kale samples tested positive for two or more pesticide residues.Almost all of the conventional nectarine samples, 94 percent, contained two or more pesticides.Detectable pesticide residues were found on 90 percent of conventionally grown apples.Apples, like many of the other fruits and vegetables on this list, have a thin peel.The conventional grape samples EWG tested contained an average of five different pesticide residues.Conventional cherry samples had an average of five pesticides detected.Like their cousin the nectarine, almost all of the conventional peach samples, a staggering 99 percent, contained pesticide residues.On average, conventional peaches were found to have residues of four different pesticides.Samples of conventionally grown pears were found to contain several pesticides in high concentrations, including fungicides and insecticides.Over half of the pear samples tested had residue from five or more pesticides.Pictured Recipe: Tangy Pepper Salad.During testing, nearly three-fourths of hot peppers were found to contain trace residues from highly toxic pesticides.Pesticides were found to be in more than 95 percent of conventional celery samples.You don't have to make over your grocery list overnight and begin buying only organic produce.There's no wrong way to use this list, whether that's choosing to buy organic tomato sauce or seeking out organic apple growers near you. .

News release: Two Minnesotans sickened by E. coli O157 from

Two Minnesotans sickened by E. coli O157 from organic baby spinach linked to national outbreak.The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) are working with the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and public health agencies in other states on an ongoing investigation of an outbreak of E.

coli O157 infections associated with eating organic baby spinach.Symptoms of illness caused by E. coli O157 typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools, but only a low-grade or no fever.Those most at risk of developing complications from E. coli O157 include children younger than 10 years of age, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.Diarrhea associated with E. coli O157 infections should not be treated with antibiotics, as this practice might promote the development of HUS.Anyone who believes they may have developed an E.

coli O157 infection should contact their health care provider.Approximately 120 cases of E. coli O157 infection are reported each year in Minnesota.

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Eat Your Organic Spinach (But Avoid Conventional)

USDA samples show more pesticides by weight on spinach than any other crop, including up to 16 pesticides and metabolites of pesticides found on each sample.DDT residue was found on half of the spinach samples.But new federal data shows that conventionally grown spinach has more pesticide residues by weight than all other produce tested, with three-fourths of samples tested contaminated with a neurotoxic bug killer that is banned from use on food crops in Europe.The latest tests by the Department of Agriculture showed a sharp increase in pesticide residues on non-organic spinach since the crop was last tested eight years ago.Since 2000, Europe has not permitted any permethrin to be used on food crops.1.The USDA found 206 samples that had residues of pesticides that are prohibited for use on spinach, but are legal on other food crops.DDT, a pesticide long banned in the U.S., also showed up on spinach and very few other crops.California tests of unwashed spinach found higher concentrations of pesticides.The USDA washed all of the spinach samples vigorously before testing. .

Pesticides in Spinach: Why You Should Go Organic

Djero Adlibeshe/ShutterstockIf you’ve ever spent time debating whether organic produce is worth the price, you might be familiar with the Dirty Dozen list put out by the Environmental Working Group.The EWG expressed concern that about 71 percent of spinach samples contained some form of permethrin, a pesticide banned in the EU and is considered a “weak carcinogen” by the EPA.On the other hand, there’s probably no need to shell out for organics with fruits with a natural barrier you peel away, like bananas and avocados, Mills adds.Try submerging the leaves fully in a bowl of cold water, then rinse with a colander and repeat, says Mills.“Washing your fruits and vegetables is a simple way to remove a large percentage of things that might be left on the surface,” she says. .

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