Should You Eat More Fruits and Vegetables?
The experts always say consumers don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. So the answer should be simple.
Summer is rounding the corner and you are thinking it’s your chance to eat healthier foods. A variety of seasonal produce is here for the taking. There is no excuse why you can’t eat more fruits and vegetables!
But wait, maybe there is? Unhealthy pesticides can make healthy fruits and vegetables unhealthy. So you may want to be picky about the produce you consume.
Cherry Pick Fruits and Vegetables
There is debate over the nutritional superiority of organic vs. non-organic fruits and vegetables. However, high levels of weed and bug sprays can make produce dangerous to health.
Non-organic fruits and vegetables are sprayed with weed killers (glyphosate) and pesticides (organophosphates, OP). These compounds are toxic and are similar to nerve gas.
Organically grown produce has lower detectable levels of pesticide residue.
Symptoms Associated With Pesticides
Eating produce sprayed with harmful chemicals inhibit the activity of enzymes in the nervous system. This leads to overstimulation and dysfunction causing mild and serious health conditions. Some of these include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Reduced motor skills
- Liver toxicity
- Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss
- Mood swings
- Digestive issues
- Hormone disruption
- Reproduction and fetal development issues including autism
- Excessive perspiration
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
Toxic or unhealthy pesticides are found in domestic produce as well as foods that are imported from Mexico or Chile.
More Toxic Exposure
The unhealthy pesticides issue is not limited to fruits and vegetable consumption. While the weed and bug killers are being sprayed, the residue infiltrates the air we breathe and the water habitat for the seafood you eat.
Believe it or not, glyphosate is also used in personal care products containing cotton, such as tampons or Q-tips.
So all this exposure can add up.
In fact, “We’re exposed to a cocktail of chemicals from our food on a daily basis,” says Michael Crupain, M.D., M.P.H., director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center.
For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are traces of 29 different unhealthy pesticides in the average American’s body.
Organic farmers are allowed to use “natural or synthetic” pesticides.
So local farmers markets where you can ask the farmers questions about farming practices may be the ideal way to purchase produce.
Who Is At Risk?
Certain population groups like children, pregnant women, and the sick or aging may be more sensitive to the effects of pesticides than others.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning each year and up to 220,000 deaths, primarily in developing countries.
What Can You Do?
Before eating fruits and vegetables, rinse them with running water. It will help wash away surface residue and bacteria.
You can also, peel the skin off.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to completely rid produce of toxic weed killers and insecticides.
Best and Worst Picks
Many of the fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of residue are those we consume year round. The “Dirty 12 and Clean 15” are lists created by the Environmental Working Group to help the consumer make healthier choices, http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ .
Produce with high amounts of toxic residue or unhealthy pesticides
- Bell Peppers
Better rated produce option
The choice is yours. Will you cherry pick your fruits and vegetables or choose to include unhealthy pesticides in your diet?