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How to Avoid the Dirtiest Fruits and Vegetables

By Sandy Schroeder

Eating fresh fruits and veggies from the farmer’s market makes us feel as if we are doing exactly what we should be doing to stay healthy, until we consider the pesticide contamination levels reported annually by the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration.

Buying all organic may seem like a must when we check the list and find most of our favorites on it. Fruits and vegetables are tested for total number of pesticides on a crop, and the average number of pesticides on a single sample

Here is this year’s list of the dirtiest fruits and vegetables from

  • Strawberries
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Spinach
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Bell peppers

Hot peppers were also added to the list this year as officials said they are contaminated with insecticides that are toxic to the human nervous system. It’s best to buy only organic or cook them to reduce pesticide levels.

How to Clean Fruits and Vegetables

As a routine for cleaning all fruits and vegetables here’s a simple way to help remove pesticides.

  • Mix four parts water to one part plain white vinegar in a large bowl
  • Soak fruit or vegetables for 20 minutes
  • Thoroughly rinse produce

What Pesticides Do

Children exposed to pesticides on a regular basis are at greater risk for decreased cognitive function, behavioral problems and pediatric cancers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Women who eat more than two daily servings of vegetables and fruits with high pesticide levels are 25 percent less likely to have a healthy pregnancy.

Safer Choices

  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Bananas
  • Papaya
  • Asparagus
  • Honeydew melons
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower

Best Precautions

  • Drink purified water
  • Buy from local farmers market or other farmer groups
  • Grow your own food

It really is a lot of work to keep our family safe and healthy, but when we see the level of pesticides in fruits and vegetables that we buy all of the time, it’s crucial to shop wisely and take other steps to eat clean. We can grow small gardens of vegetables and fruits and shop from known local sources. It also seems to be time to put more pressure on our food suppliers and official testing groups to demand a cleaner food supply. If you agree, talk to food suppliers in your community, and local parent groups to support current efforts.

In a fast-moving culture, pesticide contamination can be one more key issue in the commotion, but it’s crucial for our families to keep it visible and turn the process around.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dacula, Ga.

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