“Eating Healthier by Reducing Your Pesticide Consumption”
Everyone is interested in eating healthier, but where do we start? One of the easiest things to do is to reduce our consumption of food that is known have the highest concentration of farm pesticides. The USDA publishes a list every year which has come to be known as the “dirty dozen”. Here are 12 of the most highly pesticide treated fruits and vegetables:
Apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, kale/collard greens and zucchini.
If you’re sharp enough, you’ve noticed that this list totals 14 fruits and vegetables. That’s because the rating organizations have included a “plus” category for the kale/collards and zucchini. This plus category includes domestically grown summer squash and leafy greens, specifically kale and collards. While they didn’t make the top 12, they were found to be commonly contaminated with pesticides that are exceptionally toxic to the nervous system, including organochlorine, which has been banned for home use and withdrawn for many agricultural uses, but is still applied to certain commercial crops.
Use this list as a starting point for your diet. If you regularly eat these foods, try and buy organic or at a minimum, make sure you wash these fruits and vegetables very well prior to eating or serving them to your family.
Long Island Personal Chef