Guest post by Jennifer Rice Of Sugarsoil. Thank you, Jennifer for sharing the article with Foodeez Junction.
Organic produce seems to be the talk of the town these days. Is this simply a fad or is there some truth in it? The draw of organically grown fruit and vegetables is that they are not encumbered with pesticides and insecticides.
These chemicals are used to combat insects and other creature which may impact the plant. Considering the harmful impact these additives have on insects, it is a natural progression to think that they can harm humans as well.
The pesticide menace
People who work with pesticides are prone to acute symptoms. In China, there are apparently 500 000 people who get poisoned by pesticides every year. While only about 500 of these people die, the fact that these chemicals are harmful enough to result in death is cause enough to worry.
Long-term effects are not as simple to quantify as the route of exposure needs to be considered. Regardless of these limitations, it is worth noting that some of the detrimental long-term effects of pesticide exposure include: increased risk of cancer, negative neurological outcomes, and reproductive defects. In this case, it seems wiser to err on the side of caution and avoid buying products which are loaded with pesticides.
The dirty dozen and the clean fifteen
In 2017 the Environmental Working Group published their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists. In the process of drawing up these lists, the EWC utilized data which was produced from tests done on 36 000 samples by the U.S Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug.
At the top of the Dirty Dozen list, there sits the strawberry. Apparently, one of the strawberries tested had a startling 20 different types of pesticides. This is the second year that strawberries have been named the most contaminated food. It is thought to be because there is a high demand for this berry out of season.
Two other commercial products which should be avoided are nectarines and spinach. Three-quarters of the spinach tested contained an insecticide called permethrin. This chemical is a mosquito repellent and can cause defects in one’s nervous system if the dosage is high enough.
A trip to the grocery store need not be all doom and gloom though. There are some products which are marginally safe from pesticides, due to their protective outer covering. Some of which include avocados and sweet corn. While corn is not excessively contaminated by pesticides, it may be a genetically modified product.
These lists published by the EWC have been around since 1993, and while they praised by many doctors and medical associations there are some that question the validity of their findings. Some of the criticism that is directed at the EWC is that in their testing they are more concerned with the number of pesticides present as opposed to the level of toxicity of said pesticides. Whether these concerns nullify the lists or not is left up to each consumer. But, it may be safer to err on the side of caution and stick to organically grown products.
The Dirty Dozen
- Sweet bell peppers
The Clean Fifteen
- Honeydew Melon
- Frozen sweet peas
- Sweet corn
Jennifer Rice a lover of all things living and has dedicated her life to making a difference to all those who cross her path.
A passion for mind and body movement has led her into a long and successful career in pilates; teaching on a global scale, with clients in Canada, New Zealand, Dubai ,LA, Jordan and most recently Spain.
Her understanding of how the human body performs, combined with her extensive knowledge of nutrition and natural health therapies, allow Jennifer to be the complete wellness expert.
Not content to just help humans, Jennifer has a heart for animals and has been known to spend her time, when she isn’t working with clients or in her garden, at her local animal refuge centre, donating her time to our furry or feathered friends in need.
A wanderlust spirit keeps Jennifer on the move and her worldly outlook on life brings a refreshing point of view; always with a smile and an open heart.