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 Fresh cilantro is one of my favorite flavors of summer.

But if it’s not organic, it may be dangerously contaminated with pesticides, according to the most recent report from the US Department of Agriculture.

The USDA routinely tests produce for pesticides and their latest analysis included cilantro for the first time. Researchers tested 184 samples, both domestic (81%) and foreign, for 43 different pesticides. The results were shocking:

  • 94% of samples were contaminated with one or more pesticides
  • One pesticide in particular (chlorpyrifros) was found to exceed the limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by up to 300% and it was detected on 37% of samples
  • Researchers found 34 unapproved pesticides on the cilantro samples
  • 44% of samples contained at least one unapproved pesticide and washing did not remove them

Even though cilantro isn’t on the Dirty Dozen Plus list, you should still avoid it if it’s not organic.

If you can’t find organic cilantro at your farmer’s market or in stores, plant some in your garden or grow it in a pot on a sunny windowsill.

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