Despite everything else, there’s one thing we can reliably count on each year: USDA’s pesticide-residue report. And every single year the results are consistent: our food supply is safe.
Pesticide residues are, understandably, something many consumers worry about. If farmers apply pesticides to crops, will those pesticides end up in our food supply? And if they do, will they hurt us?
Fortunately, we don’t have to guess. The EPA sets “tolerances” so it knows exactly how much pesticide residue a person can be exposed to before it will have any negative effects. These tolerances are set extremely conservatively. So usually a person would have to consume an absurd amount of any particular food to see any impact.
Once those tolerances are set, USDA conducts annual testing to make sure our food supply is safe. Reliably, the data always shows that residues are well within the lowest limits. And over half of produce has zero residue.
2019 was no different. USDA sampled over 10,000 pieces of fresh, frozen, and processed foods. Ninety-nine percent of produce residue was well below tolerances. And over half of produce has no residue at all. American families can feel confident that our food supply is safe and healthy!
So when you see groups like Environmental Working Group or Consumer Reports claiming out produce is “dirty” or dangerous, you know it’s a lie. Don’t let them scare you.