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Could this dirty dozen be affecting your health?

2011 May 18
by camillaellis

One in three of all the foods you eat contain pesticides.  Pesticides work by employing a neurotoxic mechanism to kill insects.  Heavy exposure can cause rapid death from respiratory paralysis.  Many pesticides are known to be carcinogenic, affect birth defects, decrease infertility, and are toxic to the brain and nervous system.  Research also shows that it’s linked with depression, memory decline, asthma, eczema, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome.   Other studies have shown that it is linked with childhood leukaemia and blood cancers.

The chemical cocktail you are getting because of the amount of pesticides used on your food is what causes the most harm and quite often more than one pesticide is used on one food. Studies have shown that these toxins can be a hundred times more toxic when used together than when used alone.  Washing your fruit and vegetables has little effect because most pesticides have been designed to withstand rain.  Some pesticides are water-soluble and can be washed off but many fruit and vegetables have wax coated over the pesticide; therefore you can’t get to the pesticide to wash it off.  The fruit and vegetables that are commonly waxed are peppers, peaches, cucumbers, oranges, apples, avocados and eggplants. Using a fruit and vegetable spray to wash away the pesticides is available in health foods stores and does have an affect, otherwise best to buy organic and buy fruit and vegetables that aren’t waxed.

To buy organic can be an expensive task for many families, the most important food to buy organic is meat, fish and poultry, otherwise here is a list developed from ‘News food organisation” to reduce your pesticide consumption.  EWG research has found if people eat 5 fruit and vegetables a day from the dirty dozen then they are consuming 10 pesticides a day, if 15 fruit and vegetables are eaten from the least contaminated list then they are ingesting fewer than 2 pesticides a day.  Therefore, it’s imperative that you minimise your pesticide consumption.

The EWG analysts collected data from the U.S Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration based on 89,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce conducted between 2000 and 2008.  This data is based on produce as it is typically eaten, meaning it has been washed and peeled.

The dirty dozen:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Apples
  4. Strawberrys
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Cherries
  10. Kale/collard greens
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes (imported)

* These are the worst for pesticides best to buy organic

The clean 15:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangos
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew
  16. Melon

* These have the least amount of pesticides

The best approach is to eat organic where possible and only eat from the clean list.

To find out more about toxins get “What’s your poison?”

Lancula are specialists in providing food nutrition for more information go to our website

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