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Friday, August 1, 2014
Did you know...that data on 48 fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue, compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that 65% of produce sampled positive?
Everyone knows that pesticides are harmful, but when did we start using the excuse that “we’re all going to die of something!”? We can no longer say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away because, for the 10th year in a row, nonprofit advocacy agency the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its list of the most pesticide-contaminated produce, and once again apples top the Dirty Dozen.
Other pesticide contaminated foods that topped the list from least dirty to most dirty include imported peas, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach, peaches, celery, grapes, and strawberries.
By the way…a single celery and a single strawberry both tested positive for 13 different pesticides!
So what’s so wrong with consuming pesticides anyway? Well, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides have been linked to developmental problems in children and may act as carcinogens or throw off the endocrine system. Side effects may include cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, infertility and birth defects, and autism. Obesity and diabetes are also a pesticide issue due to agricultural fungicide which creates insulin resistance in fat cells.
How can you make your food safer? For starters, it would be a wise decision to choose foods from the Clean 15 list. Clean foods with minimal pesticide findings include onions, avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, mango, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi fruit, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, and sweet onions.
According to The Environmental Working Group no single fruit sample from the Clean 15 tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides, whereas many fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen tested positive for more than 13 pesticides.
You can also grow your own produce indoors or shop from your local organic market.
Washing your produce is important. However, it will not completely diminish those pesky pesticides. Choosing foods that have a thick layer of skin that protects against pesticides is another smart choice when shopping for produce.
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