By: Kennedy Shelley
Some foods have more pesticide residue on them than others. This is why certain foods really need to be cleaned more than others before you eat them, or better yet, use an organic alternative.
Every year, the Environmental Working Group, a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture produces its list of what they call the “Dirty Dozen” of produce that is the biggest problem to our health because of man-made toxins.
Now that there is growing concern that insecticides and weed killers such as Roundup can have profound negative effects on human health, it is even more important to pay attention to these recommendations.
The number one food on the list for the last four years is the strawberry.
It’s thin-skinned and readily absorbs pesticides.
It also is exposed to poisonous gasses to keep it red and available all year round.
Since the average American eats eight pounds of fresh strawberries a year, it is probably worth the extra cost to reduce your exposure to these dangerous chemicals.
What this means is if you are not getting organic strawberries, you need to be meticulous in washing them. A quick rinse really isn’t going to help much.
There were over 81 different chemicals that were found in various combinations when the strawberries were tested.
On the other side of the coin, you don’t have to worry much about the thick-skinned avocado.
Spending extra on organic here won’t protect your health that much.
The Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group is:
Again, these are vegetables you need to consider buying organic, or wash very carefully.
According to the group, 70% of the produce sold in the U.S. has pesticide residue on it.
The Environmental Working Group said in their press release:
“Nearly 60 percent of kale samples sold in the U.S. were contaminated with residues of a pesticide the Environmental Protection Agency considers a possible human carcinogen, according to EWG’s analysis of 2017 Department of Agriculture test data.”
While many of the pesticides that we have on our foods in the U.S. were banned in Europe, we still have many types that are very dangerous to humans floating around in our produce section.
One of the more dangerous pesticides is Dacthal which the government has considered a carcinogen since 1995. Yet 500,000 pounds of it were sprayed on U.S. produce according to the EPA, mostly in California and Washington.
All this does not mean that you should stop eating vegetables, but be aware that commercial agricultural techniques are going to increase your exposure to certain toxins, unless you are doing a good job of removing dangerous residues.
And this is a good list of items where you might want to consider adding organic versions of certain vegetables.
The less exposure you have, the healthier you and your family will be in the long-term.