The 10 most polluted fruit and vegetables
Between 2000 and 2009, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested 53 of the most popular fruit and vegetables. This resulted in a database recording of 51,000 pesticide tests…
If, in your quest to reduce exposure to pesticides, it’s not possible for you to eat organic food and vegetables (at least for the 10 fruit and vegetables below) all the time, at least try to always eat locally grown produce from reasonable agriculture.
Beauty versus quality: The more we want uniform and aesthetically pleasing fruit and vegetables, the more they need to be protected from insects and aphids by pesticide spraying. We need to give up our beauty criteria and be prepared to eat less pretty food produce, but which is better for our health.
The pesticide cocktail: A 19961 study proved the synergy between pesticides with low estrogen potential; certain combinations of pesticides had effects some 150 to 1600 times higher that the pesticides used stand alone.
Understanding the impact of pesticides
- Why are pesticides toxic? Because they were created to kill living organisms (plants, weeds and insects that attack crops), pesticides present a danger to man as well. Pesticides are accused of provoking nervous system problems, cancer, and hormonal deregulation. Therefore it’s important to avoid pesticides as far as possible, and above all avoid accumulating them in the body.
- Should we stop eating fruit and vegetables? Of course, not – fruit and vegetables are essential human foods, and guarantee good health while preventing a number of diseases. The benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables remain higher than the known risks involved with pesticide exposure. That being said, by eating organic produce, we can avoid most pesticides.
- Is washing and peeling my fruit and vegetables effective against pesticides? Not really, as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) study was carried out with washed fruit and vegetables. And while washing all your fruit and vegetables before eating is definitely necessary, systematically peeling them is not the best solution because most of the vitamins and antioxidants are found in the skin. In addition, many fruits and vegetables store the pesticides in the flesh as well.
The ten most polluted fruit and veg...
- Apples: More than 700 apple samples were tested by the EWG. 98 % of them contained traces of pesticides and 92 % contained at least 2 different types of pesticide. Along with peaches, apples are one of the most highly pesticide treated fruits, with not less than 56 different chemical substances being employed.
- Blueberries: With their porous and fragile skin, blueberries hold pesticides deep within them. And what about frozen blueberries? While blueberries are often found in the frozen section of your supermarket, it’s best to avoid them as freezing helps preserve the pesticides too.
- Celery: 96 % of the celery samples tested positive for pesticides and nearly 90 % contained a number of different types of pesticide. The problem with celery is that it takes time to arrive at maturity and is thus exposed to pesticides for a longer period than other vegetables.
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