pesticides on produce

A couple of weeks ago, I released a post called Fruits and veggies with the most & least trace pesticides with an accompanying graphic to summarize the findings of the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. A few expressed concern that this list was not truly complete, as two common GMO crops – papaya and sweet corn – were on the “Clean Fifteen” side of the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, i.e. were lowest in trace pesticides and yet deemed safest to purchase conventionally-grown. I heard ya, friends. And thus I give you the new and improved lists!

Environmental Working Group (the organization that annually conducts this study and releases the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides) also commented on this issue:

“Genetically modified plants, or GMOs, are not often found in the produce section of grocery stores. Field corn, nearly all of which is produced with genetically modified seeds, is used to make tortillas, chips, corn syrup, animal feed and biofuels. Because it is not sold as a fresh vegetable, it is not included in EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Nor is soy, another heavily GMO crop that makes its way into processed food.

“The genetically modified crops likely to be found in produce aisles of American supermarkets are zucchini, Hawaiian papaya and some varieties of sweet corn. Most Hawaiian papaya is a GMO. Only a small fraction of zucchini and sweet corn are GMO. Since U.S. law does not require labeling of GMO produce, EWG advises people who want to avoid it to purchase the organically-grown versions of these items.”

This is a perfect example of just how careful we must be when it comes to our food. It is not enough to simply eat whole fruits and veggies. It is not enough to just consider GMOs or pesticides. Everything must be considered as one whole picture, rather than separate parts.