The group examined nearly 100,000 reports frm the Deptartment of Agriculture (USDA) to determine which fruits and vegetables had the highest and lowest levels of trace chemicals. CNN aired a special report based on their research: ‘Toxic America’.
They discovered 12 fruits and vegetables that contained between 47 and 67 pesticides per portion, that they believe are more susceptible because of the soft skin that can absorb the chemicals. They recommend that people buying this ‘Dirty Dozen’ list should opt for organic versions that have 80% less pesticides: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, sweet peppers, spinach, cabbage, cherries, potatoes, grapes and lettuce.
Some fruits and vegetables that are not organic do not have the same high levels of pesticides as they are protected by a thicker skin, and these were listed as the ‘Clean 15’ in the report: onions, avocadoes, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, peas, asparagus, kiwi, aubergine, melon, watermelon, sweet potato, spring onions, certain types of cabbage and grapefruit.
Farmers use pesticides to avoid the plagues and disease that can attack plants. What we don’t know is how much these chemicals also affect our immune system and lead to health problems. Children are considered to be the most vulnerable to these chemicals.
What to do?
Always wash fruit and vegetables to remove bacteria and in the case of the ‘Dirty Dozen’, remove the skin or, better, always buy organic. If organic food costs a little more then it is not really a high price to pay for our good health.
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