Pesky Pesticides Infest Fresh Produce

Anything with the suffix –cide in it is always about killing something. Pesticides are designed to kill insects, bacteria, fungus and animals that ruin and feed on crops such as vegetables and fruits. Pesticide are in many produce items that we consume. Studies have shown that pesticides are harmful to the human body. Certain fruits and vegetables may actually cause more harm than good.

Vegetables and fruits are key elements in living a healthy life style. The vital nutrition, vitamins and antioxidants provided from the plethora of colorful fruits and vegetables do our body and mind good. Unfortunately, the skin of an apple and that package of blueberries are painted with the dangerous toxins of pesticides.

Nutrition and wellness coach, Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RD informs us that, “There are known risks associated with the consumption of pesticides, including possible damage to the nervous system, disruption of the endocrine/hormone system leading to reproductive disorders, birth defects, immune suppression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.  They are also linked to certain cancers. These issues may be even more concerning for fetuses, infants and children since their internal organs are still developing and they have much smaller bodies. So, if one can afford to buy certified organic foods, then I definitely recommend it.”

Many of these produce are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants, important vitamins, and a variety of nutrients to keep our body running strong and smooth, so not eating them is definitely not at option.

Loy advices to go organic for “The Dirty Dozen,” which is a list of the 12 most heavily contaminated vegetables and fruits. “They contain between 47-67 pesticide residues per serving. It’s believed that these may be more susceptible because they have a softer skin that may easily absorb pesticides,” says Loy.

“The Dirty Dozen”

1. Celery

2. Peaches

3. Strawberries

4. Apples

5. Blueberries

6. Nectarines

7. Bell Peppers

8. Spinach

9. Cherries

10. Kale/Collard Greens

11. Potatoes

12. Grapes

“The Clean Fifteen” is a list of produce that contains the least amount of pesticide residue.

1. Onions

2. Avocado

3. Sweet Corn

4. Pineapple

5. Mango

6. Sweet Peas

7. Asparagus

8. Kiwi

9. Cabbage

10. Eggplant

11. Cantaloupe

12. Watermelon

13. Grapefruit

14. Sweet Potato

15. Honeydew