You grab a strawberry from your fruit bowl... wash it off with some cool water... and sink your teeth in.
And not only does it taste great, but you FEEL healthier with every juicy bite, knowing that the fiber and nutrients you're swallowing can help shield your heart, brain, and lungs from damage.
But if your strawberry or other fruit selection isn't organic, you could be biting off more than you intended to chew.
According to a new report, that’s because conventionally grown strawberries top the list of fruits and veggies that are loaded with toxic pesticide residue.
And washing or even peeling your produce will do NOTHING to protect you!
Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) issues a list of the produce MOST likely to contain pesticide residue, appropriately named the "Dirty Dozen."
It's based on nearly 40,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture tests of about 50 fruits and veggies that are washed and peeled before testing.
And beloved strawberries have now held the top Dirty Dozen spot for the third year in a row.
This year, the EWG found that a third of all conventionally grown strawberry samples contained not one... not two... but residue from at least 10 different pesticides.
That's one toxic cocktail!
Spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, and tomatoes were also high on the list -- and even though there's no such thing as a "safe" pesticide, the chemicals that these fruits and veggies harbored were serious offenders.
A whopping 80 percent of apples and 30 percent of cherries were tainted with pesticides so dangerous that they're BANNED in Europe.
And the report found that spinach was likely to have high concentrations of an insecticide that's a known neurotoxin.
Now, feds and farmers argue that these substances won't hurt you in small amounts.
But that simply flies in the face of a bushel of high-quality research that's tied pesticide exposure to dementia, cancer, developmental issues, reproductive problems, and more.
And that sure is ironic -- because fruits and veggies are known to PROTECT you from the very health problems that pesticides can cause!
Now, you could simply swap the Dirty Dozen for the "Clean 15," EWG's list of produce that’s LEAST likely to contain pesticide residue. This year, it includes avocados, pineapple, asparagus, and cabbage.
But even those selections aren't exactly "clean," either. Many of them still showed residue from at least one pesticide.
So, if you don't want to cancel out the health benefits of your produce with pesticides, aim to buy only fruits and veggies that are certified organic… and therefore NEVER sprayed with that toxic gunk.
Organics are not only safer than conventionally grown, but they’ve also been found to be richer in health-boosting nutrients.
They may cost a little more -- but just think of it as an insurance policy against doctors' bills later on!