Often praised for its abundance of nutrients, kale has now become a part of the ‘Dirty Dozen’- a list of fruits and veggies that have the most pesticides, according to an analysis made by the EWG. Has kale become one of the most contaminated veggies?
The group is known to publish a list every year in which it features the 12 produce items with the highest levels of pesticide residues. They analyze data provided by the Department of Agriculture’s testing of produce to compile the list.
Kale Is Full of Pesticides?
Kale is on the Dirty Dozen list together with spinach, strawberries, apples, grapes, pears, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, nectarines, cherries, and peaches.
But, this isn’t the first time kale was found to contain high levels of pesticides. Namely, back in 2009, it ranked high eight place on the Dirty Dozen list.
According to EWG toxicologist, Alexis Temkin, they were surprised that kale had such high levels of pesticides; however, the results are indisputable.
Unfortunately, more than 92 percent of kale had residue from at least two pesticides after washed and peeled, shows the report.
Some had up to 18! Around 60 percent of the kale samples had residual Dacthal, a pesticide which is a potential human carcinogen.
Even though pesticides keep the crops safe from infections, insects, and weeds, research has found a link between health problems and the chemicals they’re made of.
The EWG also releases a Clean Fifteen list where it shows the 15 produces which have the lowest amount of pesticide residues.
This year, this list is made of sweet corn, avocados, onions, pineapples, frozen sweat peas, eggplants, papayas, kiwis, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, cantaloupe, mushrooms, broccoli, and honeydew melons.
Buy Organic to Stay Safe
The report advises consumers to buy organic produce when possible to minimize their pesticide exposure. However, this shouldn’t prevent people who can’t afford it from eating these foods.
Namely, the health advantages of a diet abundant in fruits and veggies outweigh the risk of exposure to pesticide.