Consumer Reports Tests Pesticide Levels in Fruits and Vegetables

Most supermarkets sell a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from a host of different countries.

Produce samples are tested every year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for pesticide levels.

Consumer Reports’ Food Safety Center has analyzed the data and developed a risk guide for nearly 50 fruits and vegetables. Its analysis found risk levels often vary depending on where the produce is grown.

“For example, cantaloupes grown in Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica all had a lower risk level than cantaloupes grown in the United States,” said Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D. Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center.

Organic produce always fell in the low or very low risk category. So Consumer Reports said buying organic is the best option. But organic produce costs an average of 49 percent more.

Consumer Reports ranked fruits and vegetables on when it’s most important to buy organic.

For fruits, there are five: peaches, tangerines, nectarines, strawberries, and cranberries. And these vegetables: green beans, bell and hot peppers, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

“The good news is we did find some fruits and vegetables where conventional versions were about as safe as the organic versions when it comes to pesticide residues,” Rangan said.

These include broccoli grown in the U.S. and Mexico; U.S. cherries; grapes from the U.S., Chile, Mexico, and Peru; and lettuce from the U.S. and Mexico.

Whatever produce you buy, Consumer Reports said wash it thoroughly.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Report It

Latest News

More Local News