Why, unfortunately, just washing vegetables is not enough to ensure produce clean enough for consumption
We all ingest lots of chemicals, one way or another. We breathe them, we drink them, and we eat them. The most troublesome are pesticides in produce. It makes me uncomfortable to think that while we are eating fruits and vegetables in reality we are also ingesting poisons that can accumulate in our bodies and make us very sick. This is food that supposes to be healthy and good for us!
Even if most toxic chemicals have already been banned for use in agriculture, pesticides in general are poisons designed to kill insects, weed, small rodents and other pests. The long time effects of these poisons on people are not completely known. Even minimal risk with these pollutants is too much, when we think we may expose children. We should try to do every effort to minimize our intake of these adverse chemicals.
Education is key. Knowing which produce contain more pollutants can help us make right choices, avoiding most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating least polluted, or buy organic instead. In simulation of consumers eating habits has been demonstrated that changing a little bit eating practices can lower considerably ingestion of pesticides.
The results of an investigation on pesticides in produce by USDA Pesticide Data Program (*), show that fruits topped list of consistently most contaminated produce, with eight of 12 most polluted foods. The dirty dozen are: Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Cherries, Imported Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Red Raspberries, Spinach, and Strawberries.
You don’t like broccoli? Too bad because they are among those least contaminated. In fact 12 least polluted produce are: Asparagus, Avocados, Bananas, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Kiwi, Mangos, Onions, Papaya, Pineapples, and Sweet Peas.