Ever wonder which fruit & vegetables you are consuming are more exposed to pesticides and other environmental toxins?

The EWG, (Environment Working Group), is an environmental group in America. After extensive research they have written up a report on the fruit and vegetable groups which were found to have the least amount of pesticide residue, the ‘clean 15’ group, and those are found to have the most, the ‘dirty dozen’. Many nutritionists are now using this as a guide when advising clients on food choice.

Dirty Dozen: 
So our lovely juicy red strawberry showed residue of up to 20 different pesticides on just one sample. Spinach showed 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight as any other crop. Each of the dirty dozen list tested positive for several different pesticides. Not only that but the concentration of pesticide was much more concentrated than in other produce.

Clean Fifteen:
• By informing ourselves a little more about both of these food groups we are further empowering ourselves on our health mission.
• Where possible choose organic. If the budget does not stretch to the organic section use Clean Fifteen list.
• This is based on American research. Pesticide laws can vary from European pesticide laws. This should be taken as merely a guideline. We all deserve to have this information, then we can decide what to do with it!

Empower yourself and your families choices!
Thankfully the sacred Avocado showed up clean with less than 1% of samples testing positive for pesticide residue. Sweet corn swooped up a nice second place. Over 80% of pineapples, cabbages, onions, papaya and asparagus samples had no residue….Phew!!

Effects of pesticides on our body:
The area studies have concentrated on is Fertility and children’s behaviour.
The Harvard EARTH (Environment And ReproducTive Health) study found that:
• Women who had high pesticide levels had a 26% lower risk of having a successful pregnancy compared to women who ate cleaner produce
• Males who ingested more pesticides had poorer sperm count. This is an important fact as the sperm counts of men living in N. America, Australia, Europe and New Zealand have dropped by 50% in less than 40 years.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recognise they affect children brains and behaviour.

How can we avoid these pesticides?
• Organic, Organic & a little more Organic. A 2015 study from The University of Washington showed that people who ate organic fruit and vegetables showed significantly less organophosphate insecticides in their urine sample then those who reported not to.
• Eat more local produce, although maybe not organic, they will generally have less chemicals added i.e. they don’t have to take a long haul flight and therefore do not require preservatives to prolong their shelf life once they arrive.

Can washing help?
It is important to always wash your fruit and vegetables as this can help remove some of the outer pesticide residue. However fruit and vegetables vary in their absorption levels. Highly absorbent types of fruit and veg allow pesticides penetrate right through to the inside so washing will not -these absorbent types are mostly on the dirty dozen list. The thicker skinned produce like bananas, oranges, pineapple do not absorb chemicals well.

A few core statements to remember:
• Fruit & Vegetables are pivotal to a healthy diet
• They contribute so much to a young child’s constitution in the early years
• They are an important constituent of a female and male diet in search of optimal fertility

Find out more about Herbs and Nutrition at AcuWellness Clinic.