Fruit leather-based is mostly thought of a wholesome snack to seize in your approach to the money register or toss in your little one’s lunchbox.
However a brand new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) launched Thursday revealed that these dried-fruit pancakes have a secret ingredient: pesticides. The environmental and public-health watchdog examined 37 natural and traditional fruit leathers from 10 manufacturers together with 365 Entire Meals Market, Bear, Bob Snail, Good & Collect, Stretch Island, That’s It and Dealer Joe’s and located that every one 26 typical leathers examined optimistic for pesticide residues.
“The outcomes affirm what we’ve mentioned for a very long time: Every time potential, given your finances and different concerns, select fruit that’s each natural and contemporary – not dried,” the report authors suggested.
The Downside with Fruit Leathers
The EWG testing was based mostly on samples collected across the Washington, D.C., space in 2021 and 2022. The group examined for 2 completely different markers of pesticide publicity:
- The variety of completely different pesticides detected
- The general focus of pesticides.
Typically, the natural samples had fewer pesticides at decrease concentrations than the traditional samples. The product with the best variety of completely different pesticides was the Stretch Island Raspberry Fruit Leather-based with 17 completely different pesticides. This additionally had the best focus of pesticides at 7,891 components per billion (ppb). Different leathers with excessive pesticide concentrations had been the Cherry and Strawberry Fruit Leathers; That’s It Mango, Apple Mango, and Blueberry Fruit Bars; Good & Collect Fruit Strips Strawberry, and Dealer Joe’s Apple Strawberry Fruit Bar, which had greater than 20 occasions the concentrations of different merchandise.
Typically, although, EWG science analyst and report co-author Sydney Evans instructed EcoWatch that the rationale typical fruit leathers comprise a lot pesticide residue is due to the restricted variety of fruits used to make them. When she was gathering samples, she seen that, regardless of the flavour on the package deal, the commonest ingredient was apple. One other fashionable ingredient was strawberry. Each of those fruits are very excessive on EWG’s Soiled Dozen checklist of typical fruit and veggies to keep away from as a result of they comprise greater concentrations of pesticides. The truth is, strawberries have persistently claimed the No. 1 spot. Even when you can’t afford or discover natural fruits, it’s a lot simpler to keep away from pesticide publicity with contemporary or dried produce. EWG’s Clear Fifteen checklist recommends typical fruits like pineapple, papaya and mango that examined low or zero for pesticide residue. Additional, in 2021 EWG examined 30 dried fruits and located that typical cranberries, dates, figs, mangoes and prunes didn’t have any detectable pesticides.
“EWG is all about empowering shopper alternative and information,” Evans instructed EcoWatch. “And so I believe what I took away from this after finishing the research was how confined the choices for fruit leathers actually are when you’re making an attempt to guard your self from pesticide exposures.”