We are often told that fruit is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. However, choosing the wrong fruits can actually have a negative impact on your health. While fruits are full of fiber and vitamins, they can also be full of cancer-causing pesticides.
A new report shows an alarming amount of pesticides are making their way into the conventionally grown strawberries sold in Swiss supermarkets. The study entailed testing samples of the fruit sold in supermarkets as well as the fruit and soil from strawberry farms situated in the Seeland region of Bern and Thurgau.
A total of 20 different pesticides were found, with fungicides being the most common. One sample had traces of 11 different pesticides. Twelve out of the 13 samples taken from supermarkets showed the presence of pesticides that are potentially carcinogenic, and eight of them had at least four different types of pesticides.
Only one of the non-organic samples taken from the supermarket actually met the standards for making baby food. While they all complied with the permitted pesticide limits, two of them had levels that could pose a health risk to kids who eat large amounts of strawberries.
ETH University Environmental Engineer Philippe Schenkel said: “The cocktail of pesticides found in the samples analysed shows once more that Swiss agriculture is not as close to nature as we pretend it is. Pesticides in strawberries can not be good for health. Small amounts eaten each day allow toxic substances to accumulate in our bodies. Eating only organically produced food, means we help both our health and the environment.”
It’s worth noting, however, that none of the organic strawberries were contaminated.
Strawberries in the U.S. just as bad
Unfortunately, this problem is not just limited to Switzerland. The news comes just two months after a report released by the Environmental Working Group found that strawberries had replaced apples as the fruits with the highest levels of pesticide residues. That report was based on an analysis of samples from more than 35,000 fruits and vegetables carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Other data released by the USDA showed that 98 percent of the strawberries tested contained some type of pesticide residue. Strawberries in the U.S. have also been known to test positive for captan, which is a probable carcinogen.