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Lamb's lettuce in the test: high pollution levels - except for organic goods
Corn salad is one of the healthiest types of lettuce. It is rich in vitamin C and contains a lot of beta-carotene, folic acid, iron, magnesium and potassium. However, lamb's lettuce is also often contaminated with pollutants, as an investigation by "Öko-Test" showed. Only organic goods received the overall rating of "very good".
Hardly any salad is free from pesticides
The healthy lamb's lettuce "is one of the few green glimmers of light on winter salad plates", writes the consumer magazine "Öko-Test". Indeed, it is a great option when it comes to recharging your batteries in winter. Corn salad not only provides more vitamin C and beta-carotene than many other leafy salads, but also plenty of potassium and iron. However, as an investigation by the magazine has shown, hardly a salad is free of pesticides. Among the pollutants found are also those that are considered to be particularly dangerous.
Nitrate in lamb's lettuce
Salad needs nitrate to grow. The plants take it from the ground and use it for energy, the consumer information service reported. However, high levels of nitrate in the salad are undesirable, since some of the nitrate absorbed can be converted into nitrite by bacteria.
Nitrite can then react with proteins in the body to form nitrosamines, which are suspected of causing cancer. However, the nitrate content can be reduced by removing stems and rosettes, where a lot of the substance collects in lamb's lettuce.
In addition, the salad should always be washed off to remove or reduce pollutants such as pesticides. And the experts at “Öko-Test” have found plenty of them.
According to their own statements, the testers bought in a total of eleven stores to check what average quality consumers can expect in the individual stores. Three batches were tested in the laboratories.
In the case of a total of 33 samples, conventional suppliers such as Aldi, Rewe and Co. preferred conventional corn salad. This came mainly from Germany at the time of shopping in October. The organic goods from Alnatura and Denn’s came from Italy.
Only goods from an organic dealer receive the overall rating of "very good"
The overall grade “very good” was only given once: for the samples from an organic retailer. In all four stores, the three batches examined were “good”. The average rating for the goods from the six other stores is “satisfactory”.
However, almost all conventionally produced lamb's lettuce has problems with particularly dangerous pesticides. Although all products met the legal requirements, the conventional samples, with an average of around 0.7 milligrams of pesticides per kilo of lettuce, contain more residues than in the study carried out by the CVUAS (Stuttgart Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Office) in 2015.
"With one exception, all conventionally grown salads contain pesticides, which can be classified as particularly problematic," writes the consumer magazine that it claims to be based on the assessments of international institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the American Environment Agency (EPA).
For example, the anti-fungal agent iprodione found in lamb's lettuce is classified as likely to be carcinogenic to humans.
In four samples, lambda-cyhalothrin was also detected, a spray against insects, which is considered to be hormonally active and is classified as acutely highly toxic when inhaled and toxic to bees.
In addition, four out of six organic lamb's lettuce contained the insecticide Spinosad - in levels significantly above the organic orientation value of 0.01 mg / kg. This means not only destroys pests, but also endangers bees, which is why the German organic associations strongly regulate their use.
Questionable chlorine compounds
Too much nitrate led to the devaluation 14 times, whereby "elevated" levels were assessed which exhaust at least half of the acceptable daily intake (ADI), calculated for an adult weighing 60 kg and a 50 g salad portion.
Last but not least, some chlorine compounds were found to be questionable. For example, a batch of salads from Aldi Süd contained perchlorate. This salt inhibits the absorption of iodine in the thyroid. (ad)