PESTICIDES IN PRODUCE
Summer is here. Think of all those juicy fruits and vegetables that are available this time of year. Of course, you’re not surprised that I advocate eating them….after all, I am a nutrition and health counselor and they’re packed with vitamins, anti-oxidants and fiber. However, you might be taken slight aback when you read that I am going to recommend actually foregoing certain ones…that is, unless they are organic.
That’s because there are some fruits and veggies that are so contaminated with a pesticides, that the danger of ingesting these chemicals offsets the benefit of these otherwise nutritious foods. Don’t be fooled, even (especially) the gorgeous looking, plump and colorful produce is often the most pesticide-filled.
Sure, it’s always better to eat organic than not, but I realize it’s not always realistic – they might not be readily available at the market or perhaps cost prohibitive to eat 100% organic, not to mention that most restaurants don’t even use organic products in their preparations.
How to choose? Here’s a list of the “Dirty Dozen” or most chemically infused produce….try to buy these organic only. On the other side is the list of the “Cleanest 12” which has the lowest pesticides, so you can feel a lot more comfortable buying/eating these from commercial sources.
LOWEST IN PESTICIDES
Sweet Corn (Frozen)
Sweet Peas (Frozen)
Sweet Bell Peppers
Source: Environmental Working Group
One final word of caution for another summer pleasure…shopping at the the farmer’s stand. It’s wonderful to eat locally but, these too, might be infested with harmful pesticides. On the other hand, while the farmer may not have an organic label, it is possible that they use natural pesticides and fertilizers. How to know? ASK!
Here’s to your health!