Contaminated Strawberries Still a Problem

contaminated strawberriesThe familiar taste and wonderful aroma may not be all you are getting from your local supermarket when you buy a clam shell carton of your favorite spring and summer fruit.  According to the annual list compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), contaminated strawberries are still a problem.  Each year, the EWG analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration.  The then compile their lists: the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen.  The Dirty Dozen are the top 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest and most numerous residual amounts of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals on/in the foods we consume.

Are Contaminated Strawberries Necessary?

Due to the fragility of strawberries, many pesticides and other chemicals are often used in the conventional production of the crops.  The chemicals and technologies have allowed the strawberry industry to be a multi-billion dollar industry.  However, what price do we pay over the long haul by consuming trace amounts of the chemicals used in their cultivation?  The verdict is out, but it is generally accepted that eating contaminated strawberries is less desirable than eating uncontaminated ones.

And, the EWG found that the norm for non-organic strawberries is that they are very contaminated strawberries.

History repeats in 2017 as contaminated strawberries rank atop the Dirty Dozen list.  They edged out conventional spinach, nectarines, apples, and peaches to take home the contamination crown (again).  Even after being picked, rinsed in the field, and washed again before eating, contaminated strawberries still tested positive for pesticides and other unnatural chemicals.  99 percent of strawberries tested positive for at least 1 pesticide residue.  29 percent were contaminated with 10 or more!  In fact, strawberry farmers use, in varying combinations, 74 different chemical pesticides.  The absolute dirtiest sample tested positive for 21 (!!!) different pesticides and break-down products.

Two Choices: Contaminated Strawberries or Organic

Sure, some of the pesticides and chemicals use may cause little or no harm to humans.  But others are known carcinogens.  None of the synthetic chemicals are found naturally around us in the formulations used to prevent crop damage.  Sure, it is also true that our livers and other metabolic systems can powerfully process out a host of chemicals from the body.  It is worth asking the question, though: do you really want to eat highly contaminated strawberries?

For more on contaminated strawberries and the rest of the list/report, be sure to see the full report on the EWG's strawberry report and website.  For help bypassing the contaminated strawberries altogether, you can see this: Growing Strawberries.

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