You don’t want to hear this –- so you may want to put your fingers in your ears right now and start humming loudly. Since, however, you are an esteemed member of my very mature audience, you may want to take your chances and listen, anyway. What’s this about? It concerns what our very own USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has found on and in your fruits and vegetables that the good Lord didn’t put there, and for good reason.
Let’s start with the bad news first and then look at what we can do about it. Let me preface this by saying that if you are going to worry about a few hundred pounds of pesticides and fungicides being sprayed onto and absorbed into your produce annually, then maybe you should leave the room right now. Worrying all the time about what is in our food may do more damage to than actually eating the stuff. Let’s face it. If these chemicals were as bad for us as some would have us believe, then we would all be dead already. With that said, you should know that one reliable source says that less than 21% of the pesticides used in the United States have been adequately tested for their potential to cause cancer; and less than 10% have been tested for their ability to cause genetic mutations.
Since we all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, apples might be a good place to start. The USDA found chemical residues on 98% of the apples they tested. Apples may be sprayed up to 16 times a year with 43 different pesticides, including the insecticides Imidacloprid and Carbaryl and the fungicides Thiabendazole and DPA. The scientists found these 43 chemicals after washing AND peeling the apples! So when we enjoy a nutritious apple, along with its host of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, we get some bonus chemicals of, shall we say, questionable benefit.
Maybe your thing is a mouth-watering peach, so delicious and so good for us. Peaches were found to have the highest concentrations of pesticide residue of any fruit or vegetable tested. A total of 67 different chemicals were found in the peaches (remember – they wash and peel the produce before testing) and fully 96% of those tested contained man-added chemicals. Are green beans a favorite of yours? Fifty-one different pesticides were found on a single green bean and the domestic beans were worse than the imported ones. You get the point. We get quite a chemical cocktail with our produce and since much of it has not been tested sufficiently to know how deleterious it might be, it’s kind of like F&V Russian Roulette.
Here is a list of the produce high in pesticides to avoid or to purchase in the organic aisle at the store. Besides the ones already mentioned, there are strawberries, nectarines, blueberries, pears, raspberries and grapes in the fruit department. The veggies with the highest pesticide content are: bell peppers, celery, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, spinach, kale, collards, cucumbers and tomatoes (so much for the salads). Is there anything left to eat besides Snickers bars and Twinkies? Yes!
One of the items in the produce aisles that is lowest in added pesticides is brussels sprouts. Insects don’t tend to favor this vegetable; the trouble is, most humans don’t either. Another possibility is asparagus. It seems that asparagus doesn’t absorb the pesticides; therefore, just wash it and you’re good to go. Other produce lowest in pesticide residue is: onions, avocados, kiwi , pineapple, broccoli, eggplant, cabbage, mangoes and sweet peas.
The good news is that we can do something besides picketing the local chemical factory and boycotting all the delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables that are high in pesticides, fungicides and other questionable chemicals. Here are some solutions to our diet quandary:
- Purchase the USDA certified organic or 100% organic versions of the produce that is typically high in pesticides
- Have a garden, fruit trees, and berry bushes in your backyard and control what, if anything, goes onto the produce
- Check with your local farm market and see what their growing standards are
- Wash well and peel produce (however, the highest quantities of nutrients are usually in the peel, e.g., apple peel)
- Choose mostly those F&V’s that are lowest in additives and eat those high in pesticides less often
- Remember that worrying to the extreme about what’s in your food can be more dangerous than the contaminated food itself. The stress of fretting all the time is very taxing, and most diseases are STRESS RELATED.
If you want to know more about what specifically is in our food that isn’t supposed to be, a good source is: http://inspirationgreen.com/food-organic-choices.html Hope you’ve found some valuable food for thought here and won’t give up on fruits and vegetables altogether and turn to junk food. After all, brussel sprouts are very nutritious and they are not THAT bad.
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From Ed Mayhew -- the author of Fitter After 50, Fitter For Life and other books, CDs, videos and articles on how you, too, can make falling apart as you age merely an option -- NOT a mandate. Why not make the rest of your life the BEST of your life? http://www.FitterforLife.com and http://www.amazon.com/Age-Blasters-Steps-Younger-You/dp/1598589083/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276528674&sr=1-1 (click here for paperback or Kindle editions of AGE BLASTERS)