Produce and Pesticides Everything You Need to Know

Produce and Pesticides Everything You Need to Know

Health and Fitness May 4, 2014

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Did you hear the one about the fresh veggies and the pesticide? They used to think the other one was gross-looking, but now they find each other positively radishing.

Sorry, was that joke too corny for your tastes?

All humor aside, it’s actually recently come to light that both vegetables and fruits — yes, the freshest of fresh ingredients you use to cook up your family’s healthy meals at home — contain a myriad of hidden chemicals on the surface. No matter where you buy these greens, there’s a good chance they’ve been sprayed with hazardous pesticides in order keep bugs off and keep the crops growing rich and thick.

The good news is, not every fruit and veggie has been proven to be affected. Still, the most recent of these reports (coming directly from the Environmental Working Group) suggest a grim future of chemical-laden produce, with about 65% of samples testing positive for pesticides. So, which ones are safe to eat and which ones should you avoid? Let our online nutrition counseling guide help you decide.

Potatoes, bell peppers and snap peas.

The Story: Spuds are no punchlines anymore. The average potato was found to contain more pesticides by weight than any other piece of produce, period. Snap peas aren’t faring much better, with the average one containing a troubling 13 different pesticides, according to the report. Bell peppers aren’t much better, ranking at the number-seven spot for most pesticides a second year in a row.

The Verdict: Wash thoroughly and avoid them if you don’t know their source.

Peaches, grapes and nectarines.

The Story: Depending on where you obtain them, fruits can often be just as pesticide-ridden as the veggies listed above. Peaches and grapes, for example, can contain upwards of 15 different pesticides in each piece, a stat that places them both high up on the list. We hear a lot about the difference between good sugars and bad sugars when it comes to good healthy diet foods, but contaminated fruit provides neither. Consider this your first lesson in online nutrition counseling 101.

The Verdict: Avoid these fruits unless you pick them up at farmers’ markets, especially when it comes to nectarines.

Apples and strawberries.

The Story: As it turns out, the greens are much safer after all. Strawberries, even a single berry, tested positive for 13 different pesticides in the EWG’s report, but the data on apples is even more frightening — 99% of samples yielded positive proof of pesticides. Does one a day really keep the doctor away?

The Verdict: You might want to just curl up in a ball and cry. Just kidding — kinda. Seriously, farmers’ markets are where it’s at. Buy local!

For more on how pesticides can harm your food (and subsequently your body), look up more online nutrition counseling information. In the meantime, it might be best to simply play it safe.