Pesticides on Produce: Go Organic or Remember to Wash
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Make sure to give your fruits and veggies a thorough washing before eating them
It's important to remember that your fresh fruits and vegetables may be carrying unwanted pesticides
Unless all the produce you buy is grown organically, chances are your fresh fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of pesticide residue.
Reduce the Risk of Pesticides
The key to minimizing how much of this residue you eat lies in thoroughly washing all fresh produce under running water. Despite the hype, using special sprays and soaps to rinse vegetables is not necessary. Peeling fruits or vegetables helps, although pesticides are used at different times during the growing process and can be absorbed right into the plant and fruit (e.g., cherries).
Tips on When To Go Organic
Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or sewage sludge, but they are not always available or affordable. Still, if possible, purchase organic peaches, apples, peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, grapes and leafy greens (e.g., spinach, lettuce).
Produce that is less likely to contain detectable levels of pesticides includes cabbage, bananas, kiwi, asparagus, mangoes, papaya, grapefruit, cantaloupe, pineapples, avocado and onions.
Benefits Outweigh the Risks
The health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables far outweigh the risks associated with ingesting traces of pesticides, but it’s important to minimize their presence by thoroughly washing all fruits and vegetables.
Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.