What’s Left To Eat?

When we’re told that meat has antibiotics and hormones, that grains contains gluten which can wreak havoc on our gastrointestinal track, and that even soy isn’t good for us because it’s genetically modified, certainly the only pure whole natural foods left are fruits and vegetables. Can’t go wrong there right? And yet, we find that we can. *Cue sad music*

While it’s next to impossible to eradicate all toxins and chemicals from our diets we often think that fruits and vegetables are a safe bet. Nearly every diet choice agrees that fruits and veggies are a must and one of the best ways to be healthy and lose weight. But it’s disheartening to find that so many farms use pesticides that are dangerous to the consumer. As a parent myself I found this excerpt from an online article especially upsetting:

::Parents’ concerns have been validated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which in 2012 issued an important report that said that children have “unique susceptibilities to [pesticide residues’] potential toxicity.” The pediatricians’ organization cited research that linked pesticide exposures in early life and “pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.”::

So what can we do to make sure that we are consuming the healthiest produce possible? One of the most important things we can do is grow our own gardens or buy produce from local farmer’s markets (make sure, though, that you know what the grower used on the plants, if anything). If these options aren’t readily available to you then knowing which fruits and vegetables have the most chemical exposure and which have the least is vital to eating healthy.

Fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue data

EWG analyzed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for these popular fresh produce items.
(lower numbers = more pesticides)

1 APPLES

2 STRAWBERRIES

3 GRAPES

4 CELERY

5 PEACHES

6 SPINACH

7 SWEET BELL PEPPERS

8 NECTARINES – IMPORTED

9 CUCUMBERS

10 CHERRY TOMATOES

11 SNAP PEAS – IMPORTED

12 POTATOES

13 HOT PEPPERS

14 BLUEBERRIES – DOMESTIC

15 LETTUCE

16 KALE / COLLARD GREENS

17 PLUMS

18 CHERRIES

19 NECTARINES – DOMESTIC

20 PEARS

21 TANGERINES

22 CARROTS

23 BLUEBERRIES – IMPORTED

24 GREEN BEANS

25 WINTER SQUASH

26 SUMMER SQUASH

27 RASPBERRIES

28 BROCCOLI

29 SNAP PEAS – DOMESTIC

30 GREEN ONIONS

 

Buy these fruits and vegetables organic when you can, especially those further up on the list, such as the top 10 or so.

Or better yet, find a clear patch of dirt in your back yard or find someone that has some extra space you can borrow and plant your own garden!

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