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Cilantro is Loaded with Pesticides, but Probably Won't Kill You

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jun 1, 2011 3:20PM

Buy organic, fresh herbs at your local farmers market.
The USDA regularly tests produce for pesticides and other chemicals - and they were surprised to find cilantro (the first fresh herb tested) was absolutely loaded with pesticides. The Tribune's Monica Eng reported that 94% of the samples taken by the USDA tested positive for at least one pesticide, and 44% showed pesticides not approved for use in Cilantro - the number in apples was 2%.

Fresh herbs are a big growth sector of the produce market, and they are often super expensive at the grocery store. This sometimes leads us to forget that they aren't necessarily organic or fancy. The Tribune also reported that most of the pesticides weren't found in dangerous levels, as established by the EPA. But a few were - one pesticide occurred at more than three times the acceptable level.

In case you're wondering, just washing the cilantro doesn't get the pesticide residue off. Our suggestion? Grow it yourself or buy organic.