As Jerry Seinfeld might say, “What’s the deal with always having to compulsively wash your produce? What harm is a little dirt going to do?”
Well my friends, if you buy non-organic produce, and are unafraid of the harmless “dirt” that might be lingering, you might want to think again…
While the long term effects of pesticide consumption are unknown, studies that are being conducted have confirmed some pretty alarming findings, especially with regard to children.
Here is some of the current data:
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pesticides block the uptake of critical nutrients for development in children, ultimately affecting the maturation of the nervous system.
- Another study, Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Neurodevelopment in Young Mexican-American Children Eskanazi et al confirmed “associations of prenatal DAPswith mental development and pervasive developmental problems at 24 months of age.”(http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2007/9828/abstract.html)
- The specific, Organophosphate pesticide was found in the saliva and urine of 21 children eating a normal diet of commercially available items in a recent study by the EPA. When the childrens’ diets were replaced by an organic diet, the pesticide level in their saliva and urine drastically decreased.(http://www.ei-resource.org/news/general-environmental-health-news/children-have-pesticides-in-their-bodies-after-consuming-regular-food/)
- Duke University conducted a study confirming a link between Parkinson’s and pesticide consumption. (http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSCOL87119020080418)
- In the same year as the Duke research study, the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed that even low level of pesticide consumption increases one’s risk to develop Parkinson’s by up to 70%!(http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9408-pesticide-exposure-raises-risk-of-parkinsons.html)
Despite consistent support from empirical studies that suggest even low level consumption of pesticides creates a hazardous health concern, the EPA ultimately has the power to determine what level of pesticide consumption is considered safe, and A-O.K. for us to put into our bodies. The “safety” level of these various pesticides is determined by the amount used on an entire crop, how much of the pesticide is retained on the fruit after washing, and the effects on lab animals after exposure to a single pesticide. What hasn’t been considered however, are the effects of multiple pesticides on the body when consumed, and how these pesticides will affect HUMANSSSSSSSS. oy.
Well, to give a little insight, the average life span of a migrant farm worker is 47 years…why might that be?
Why, then, are pesticides continually used by commercial growers if they are statistically proven to be harmful for human consumption? All commercially cultivated produce uses pesticides as a way to keep away insects from the yield, making the produce more steadily successful… In more plain terms $$$!
The following graph might add some perspective to the severity of this situation. Everyone is being effected.
What can You do??!
Although maintaining an all-organic diet is the best way to steer clear of these dangerous chemicals, sometimes it is difficult for everyone to consistently maintain this kind of lifestyle. After all, the produce section of the supermarket is fast, cheap, and convenient.
If you are going to continue to buy the commercially available stuff, at least be informed of the level of crap-ola you’re allowing yourself to consume. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit research organization devoted to promoting public health, has comprised a list of the produce that contains the highest and lowest levels of pesticides.
Lets start with the Winners cup! (Scoring lowest on the pesticide scale)
Congrats Avocado and Onion, you make a mamma proud.
Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Imported Grapes, Celery, Lettuce, Pears, Cherries, Nectarines, Strawberries, Spinach, Potatoes, etc. all had alarmingly high levels of pesticides, even when washed.
For more information, please visit www.ewg.org
How nice, we’re now living in a world where we must even fear our fruit!