I have a gross confession to make; I never wash my fruit before I eat it. I know there are pesticides on it, my mom reminded me every time I picked up a store bought apple, but I guess I just didn’t care. I think it’s a little bit laziness, a little ignorance and a lot of the thought, “they wouldn’t sell something edible covered in poison.” After I did my research I can assure you I will be washing all of my fruit from now on!
Pesticides do serve an important purpose. Farmers use pesticide to kill insects, weeds and disease. They stop rats, mice, flies and other insects from eating and contaminating the food and prevent harmful molds and microbes from growing and poisoning humans.They just aren’t meant to be ingested.
The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that an estimated 10,000-20,000 pesticide poisonings happen each year. The Center for Disease Control reports that pesticides may cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, allergic or neurological symptoms (such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers). In addition to that there are numerous studies linking pesticides to ADD, Asthma, Cancer, and birth defects. These studies aren’t just linking farmworkers who handle the pesticides but regular every day people like you and me who eat fruits and veggies and are exposed.
The Environmental Working Group released a report in 2010 naming the worst fruits and vegetables for pesticide exposure, they have been named the dirty dozen.
The Dirty Dozen
Sweet Bell Peppers
Spinach, kale and collard greens
The produce listed in the Dirty Dozen were found to each contain 47 to 67 separate pesticides per serving, this was after the produce was cleaned with the USDA’s high-power pressure water system. It is thought that the produces soft skin absorbs the pesticide which results in the high number of contaminates. If you love the Dirty Dozen as much as my family does it is recommended that you purchase it organic or grow it yourself. Why take the chance of exposing your family to harmful poison? And remember to always wash your produce!!