We all know that fruits and veggies are good for us. With the new MyPlate program it is recommended that we consume five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Yet, only about 1/3 of Americans are getting their proper daily dose of fruits and veg. Fruits and vegetables are rich in many vitamins, fiber and flavonoids that are powerful antioxidants. They all contribute to fighting diseases, and giving us a longer life.
Above is the list of the 2012 shopping guide with the vegetables and fruits that contain the most pesticides by the not-for-profit agency, Environmental Working Group, or EWG. With hundreds of samples on the market, they found nearly 68% had pesticides present after they even went through washing and peeling. At the top of the list in respective order are apples, celery, and bell peppers. The main concern is the fact that some of these pesticides are known to be carcinogenic, while others have a chemical that may cause with learning disabilities in children.
A pesticide expert from the EWG, Johanna Congleton, a toxicologist, says that this is alarming because some of the pesticides found on the produce contain organophosphate, which is linked with neurodevelopment problems in children. Even more shocking is that such pesticides were found in high levels by the EWG, in baby food containing green beans, sweet potatoes and pears. Sweet potatoes though, by contrast show no virtual trace of pesticides.
To find out more about specific pesticides and health risks, look into the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report pesticides and human exposure.
To assemble the rankings, EWG researchers examined 45 preferred fruits and veggies based upon ‘pesticide load’ reports conducted by the USDA and the FDA. The database incorporates 60,700 samples taken over a ten year period, starting back in 2000. It is essential to mention that all of the testing is performed on fruits and veggies that have been cleaned, peeled or both, which would be the normal precautions most consumers would make.
They factor in how many of the samples test positively for detectable pesticides, how many have greater than two pesticides, the concentration of the pesticides discovered and the greatest number of pesticides found in any single sample (measured in parts per million). The researchers also considered the total pesticide load of the fruit or vegetable crop en masse.
Although the list is detailed, the ranking doesn’t capture all information: For example, though apples were actually ranked as most contaminated overall, imported nectarines had the unique distinction of having a full one hundred percent rate of positive pesticide test results, over any other product. Grapes and bell peppers were each commonly contaminated with 15 different pesticides in a single sample, the greatest overall range of contamination.
Despite all these findings by the EWG, the organization urges Americans to continue consuming fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to wash them thoroughly before eating..
The overall benefit from a daily consumption of fruits and vegetables by far exceeds the danger of any pesticide contamination, as long as the produce is washed well. It’s also recommended for consumers to eat organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. These items are attested to have no pesticides at all on them. The downside of buying these items is that the price is considerably higher. If each member of your family eats the recommended five helpings of various fruits and vegetables daily, the grocery bill could be staggering. If you’re like most of us, it is probably more practical to simply scrub the fruits and veggies with water before you put it on the dining table. These foods will certainly be worth it for the health and well-being of you and your loved ones.