EWG Predictably Picks On Another Kid Favorite Fruit

4/11/2016 8:56 PM

After years of trying to convince parents not to feed their kids conventionally grown apples, the Environmental Working Group is now picking on strawberries.  In a predicted effort to try and resurrect steadily declining media coverage, EWG placed a new kid-popular, nutritious fruit at the top of the “dirty dozen” list it released today.

While this effort to manipulate government data to put strawberries at the top of the list may result in a bump in coverage for EWG, most media outlets have largely moved away from covering this annual list release. More and more reporters and bloggers are reading the actual USDA Pesticide Data Program report EWG says they base their “dirty dozen” list upon.  The USDA states that these program findings show “residues do not pose a safety concern.”  Plus the “list” has been repeatedly discredited by scientists.

Another reason for declining media coverage is because EWG puts out contrasting information and advice for consumers.  While EWG inaccurately calls into question the safety of the conventionally-grown produce items on the “dirty dozen” list, EWG actually states in its Food Scores report that these same fruits and veggies are “best foods” for consumers and they recommend increasing consumption. 

So which is it EWG - are they “best foods” or “dirty?”  Let’s take a quick look at strawberries. 

Strawberries are high in Vitamin C, a good source of fiber plus provide essential potassium, folate, and antioxidants. While nutrient dense, they are also low in sugar.

Kids love them!  Surveys show that a favorite fruit among kids is strawberries.  And, since this popular fruit is available year-round, moms can feed their kids strawberries anytime.

While there are numerous studies showing the health benefits of eating berries and other fruits, including improved brain and cardiovascular health, a new study found that strawberry consumption may also positively impact insulin response in the body.  Insulin response can be a factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Residues, if present at all, are so low on strawberries that a child could eat 1,508 servings per day and still not have any health effects from residues.

Sounds like EWG may have finally gotten it right in calling berries a “best food” in its Food Scores report and accompanying its strawberry score with this statement:

“Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables--especially dark green, red and orange varieties, as well as beans and peas--is an essential part of a healthy diet. Fruit and vegetable intake is associated with reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and some types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables are also key sources of potassium and dietary fiber--nutrients that many Americans do not get enough of. Perhaps that's because on average, Americans eat only 42% and 59% of the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables, respectively making them one of the few foods we should all eat more of.”

The inconsistency of calling fruits and veggies “dirty” one day and a “best food” on another should make one question EWG’s motivation for continuing to promote its scientifically unsupportable “dirty dozen” list. For the reporters/bloggers still covering the “list,” maybe you should ask EWG why?


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