EWG Gives Top Scores to Produce

10/27/2014 12:17 PM

The Environmental Working Group released a new database today which rates foods on a scale of 1 to 10  (a score of 1 being the best) based on nutrition, food additives, contaminants and degree of processing. How does EWG rate organic and conventional produce?  They give our products  “1” (best) scores throughout.  This high rating by EWG clearly illustrates that they don’t really believe their own rhetoric and claims that conventional fruits and veggies are “dirty,” “toxic,” or “pesticide laden.”   In fact, here is a new statement by EWG about the health of fruits and veggies from their database:

“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. You can get your 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for about the cost of a bus ride in most cities (USDA 2009; EWG 2012). Fruit and vegetable intake is associated with reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and some types of cancers (USDA and DHHS 2010). 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 (USDA and DHHS 2010), making them one of the few foods we should all eat more of.”

Sound familiar?  It should because that is the exact messaging carried by the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) and health experts everywhere.  Organic or conventional – we should all be eating more.

Further, since EWG gives such a high ranking to conventional fruits and veggies and now is carrying a strong message regarding the need to increase consumption, the AFF renews its call on this organization to stop releasing its annual “dirty dozen” report with disparaging, inaccurate safety claims.  If EWG doesn’t stop, the AFF will happily remind consumers about the “1” scores and EWG’s new consumption message every single time the “dirty dozen” list receives attention.  Every single time.

So, EWG, our thanks for the “best foods” ranking and your strong message regarding consumption.  Your acknowledgement of the health and safety of all produce is well deserved and long awaited.  Now do the right thing and stop releasing misleading lists that only confuse consumers by raising unwarranted fears.  After all, you can’t give a food a “best” ranking, urge people to eat more and then call it “dirty.”  You just can’t. 

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