Friday, April 4, 2014

How to avoid pesticides in your fruits and veggies


So you're skipping out on growing a garden this year but still want to avoid pesticides. If you've got a garden, great, you know exactly where your food comes from.
Here's how: Buying organic fruits and vegetables will keep the pesticides out of your body.
Foods destined to be organic aren't allowed to have pesticides applied to them. You can have confidence that food labelled organic isn't going out of its way to poison you.
An alternative strategy, one that builds community, is to get to know people at the local farmer's market and ask them how they grow their food. Often, small growers will find organic certification cost prohibitive, though they grow their food without pesticides.
Now, if you're only a little worried about the pesticides, the Environmental Working Group out of the US has posted what they call their Dirty Dozen: Fruits and vegetables that are worth buying organic.
So much for an apple a day… Apples and nectarines topped the list for fruits. Along with blueberries, grapes, peaches and strawberries, these ones are worth buying organic, or avoiding altogether.
If you're looking for an excuse not to eat your veggies, the veggies to avoid are celery, bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, and potatoes. These ones are worth buying organic or avoiding.
Also, green beans and kale greens didn't make the 'dirty dozen' list, but had organophosphate residues, which have been shown to be neurotoxic. Organophosphates have been linked in an Ohio study with lower birth weight and shorter pregnancies, placing babies at risk.
The 'conventionally grown' foods least likely to contain pesticides are onions, sweet corn, and pineapples. You can see the complete list of the 'clean 15' foods least likely to have pesticides at ewg.org.
Growing your own organic food, buying organic, or getting to know someone who grows clean food will go a long way to keeping pesticides out of your body. If you can't manage a fully organic diet, you can get most of the benefits by avoiding the 'dirty dozen' fruits and vegetables, or buying them organic.

Avoiding pesticides takes a little extra work or a little extra money, but your health is worth it.

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