"The concern is that depending on the structure of the communication about pesticides and fruits and vegetables this could turn people away from wanting to purchase any fresh produce".
An annual report by the Environmental Working Group found that almost 70% of samples of 48 types of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues, reports CNN. The pesticides persisted even after the food was washed and, in some cases, peeled.
When spoke with Lunder a year ago, she mentioned that some conventionally grown produce are safe to eat.
"We were surprised to see how informational content that named specific fruits and vegetables as having the highest pesticide residues increased the percentage of shoppers who said they would be unlikely to purchase any type of fruits and vegetables", says Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman, Associate Professor of Food Science and Nutrition, IIT's Center for Nutrition Research. They also control organisms that carry tropical diseases such as mosquitoes. They may have negative effects on reproduction, immune or nervous systems, cause cancer and lead to other problems.
The Alliance for Food and Farming, a non-profit organization which represents organic and conventional farmers of fruits and vegetables, says consumers need not worry.
A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.More news: Preet Bharara Fired by Trump Team After Refusing to Resign
Spinach made one of the more notable jumps on this year's list, moving from No. 8 to No. 2.
This list included, in order, sweet corn (including corn on the cob and frozen corn), avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papaya, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.
Spinach samples had, on average, twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
But before you start throwing out any fruits or veggies that aren't on the Clean Fifteen, remember that this list does not mean you are going to keel over and die just because you grabbed the cheaper, non-organic strawberries the last time you were at the store.
Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest: only 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
"Based on the PDP data and on EPA's assessment, the small amount of pesticides found in a few of the samples present no health risk".
"Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they're grown", said EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder, "but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic".