Fruits and vegetables are not only tasty but are also good for our health. Numerous studies prove that fruits and vegetables help our bodies fight many diseases. People are now more aware of the benefits they bring, thanks to technology.
Living a healthy lifestyle entails consuming healthy foods. This was easy to do in the past (before nasty pesticides were invented to feed the greed of giant companies). Some of the chemicals in pesticides are known to cause cancer, while some need more study. Eating produce laced with these mysterious chemicals can be compared to playing “Russian Roulette”. Deciding on what healthy foods to eat has become harder through the years. These pesticides are not only harmful to our health but also for the environment. One of the recent and frightening effects of pesticides in the ecosystem was the increase in the death of honey bees. This does not only threaten the extinction of bees and other animals but also the human race.
Many groups voice out their concerns on this issue and demand change. However, there are also groups that work to discredit studies that show harmful (or possibly harmful) effects of these pesticides in our food.Thankfully, we have the option to choose food that is not touched by pesticides. Please check out 12-reasons-why-organic-is-wealth-for-your-health/ !
One of the greatest factors that hinder people from buying organic food is the high price tag. The Environmental Working Group provided a solution to this. EWG rounded up the information that USDA gathered when they tested thousands of produce samples for pesticides back in 2014. As a result, EWG came up with a list they called the Dirty Dozen for 2016. These are the fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amount of pesticide residue. Below are the top 9 produce that are worth buying organic:
A single strawberry sample that was tested by the EWG contained 17 different pesticides. This is because strawberry is a delicate fruit that is susceptible to many diseases. Farm owners spray them with pesticides to raise yield. The European Food and Safety Authority expressed their concerns on about the high amount of pesticides on strawberries. They set new standards for the allowed maximum amount of pesticide residue strawberries can have to be sold as produce. Most of the pesticides that were found on strawberries were fungicides that could potentially cause cancer.
For many years, apples have been on the list of healthy foods to eat. The reason why this fruit should only be bought organic is due to the high amount of pesticides sprayed on non-organic apples. On top of that, apples are coated with wax to increase shelf life, as well as for aesthetic reasons. Some organic apples are also waxed but only with natural ingredients such as beeswax and vegetable oil.
Many samples of this fruit have shown a great amount of pesticides. According to Pesticide Action Network, 5 of the pesticides that were found on the samples were carcinogenic in nature and 17 are suspected hormone disruptors.
Peaches are one of the favorites for pests to feed on. This is why peaches made it to the top 4 of EWG’s dirtiest foods. US Department of Agriculture tested the residue found on both imported and local peaches. Among the 50 pesticides that were found, 5 exceeded the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency. What is more frightening is 6 of the pesticides found are not even allowed to be used in the United States.
Celery is an excellent source of Vitamin C. It is great for both snacks and soups due to its texture and flavour. Spinosad (a pesticide that is commonly found on celery) is highly toxic to Bees. Of the pesticides found, 27 are suspected to disrupt hormone functions.
Grapes are fumigated with methyl bromide in order to ensure a successful harvest. This chemical is highly neurotoxic. Methyl bromide is impregnated in the soil and is known to contaminate surrounding areas.
Like the rest of fruits and vegetables on this list, cherries are susceptible to fungi, bacteria, and pest destruction. For this reason, cherry trees are constantly sprayed with pesticides. Farmers stop this process when harvest season is close. Some believe that doing so will give pesticides time to be washed off from the fruit. USDA results disagree.
Spinach is one of the favorites of people living a healthy lifestyle, due to its versatility. Unfortunately, the FDA found a high amount of permethrin, a commonly used pesticide, on non-organic spinach. Studies show that Permethrin is linked to Parkinson’s disease and is suspected to be a carcinogen.
Tomatoes made it to top 9 in the “Dirty Dozen”. This doesn’t mean that we can no longer consume it. Studies proved that organic tomatoes are not only free from harmful contaminants but also contain more flavonoids.
Sweet bell pepper is on the 10th spot of “Dirty Dozen”, preceded by cherry tomatoes and cucumbers respectively.
Among the many possible effects of pesticide exposure is cancer, neurotoxicity, and hormone disruption. Pesticides are also shown to have detrimental effects on development and reproduction. These produce might cost more than non-organic grown crops, but they are definitely worth the investment. Every extra cent or dollar spent on the above-mentioned produce could mean saving you or your loved one from a debilitating illness.
Daisy Grace works as a health and beauty writer. She specializes in women’s health and also explores topics related to general health and beauty. Daisy loves studying the latest trends in health, fitness, diet, cosmetics and skin care, but her experience extends further than that. She writes on all aspects of women’s health and beauty skin care and also various product reviews. Read more of her expertise on Facebook, Google + & Twitter.