EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Red, yellow, green... there are more than 7500 different types of apples!
I love green Granny Smith. They're tart, easy to eat on the run and extra delicious dipped in raw almond butter-yum!
When I was pregnant with my daughter, green apples were my number two craving--I ate at least one apple a day (of course my number one craving was dairy-free, mint chocolate chip coconut milk ice cream!).
Apples are loaded with vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants and most likely something else: pesticide residue!
In fact, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration testing, apples top the list of the 2011"Dirty Dozen" most pesticide laden fruits and vegetables.
A non-profit, consumer advocacy group called the Environmental Working Group analyzed the government data and created the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean 15" to help you know which fruits and vegetables are worth buying organic.
According to the USDA tests, pesticides showed up on 98 percent of the 700 apples tested.
All produce was washed and peeled before testing.
The USDA even found 33 unapproved pesticides on 44 cilantro samples which is the most unapproved pesticides found on one type of produce since EWG started tracking government produce tests back in 1995!
Clearly, this isn't meant to stop you from eating fresh fruits and vegetables. This list is to help you buy what's best for your family.
Eating 5 servings of produce from the Dirty Dozen list could expose you to 14 pesticides a day, while picking produce from the Clean 15 lowers that to two. Or buy organic produce when possible, especially if you're pregnant or feeding young kids.
Integrative medical doctors also encourage you to buy organic or from the Clean 15 list when possible.
A study in the journal Pediatrics found kids with an above average level of a common pesticide in their urine had twice the odds of being diagnosed with ADHD.
"I really worry that pesticides on food are unhealthy for the tender, developing brains and bodies of young children," said Dr. Harvey Karp, MD, FAAP, creator of the book/DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block. "Parents don't realize they're often feeding their little ones fruits and veggies with the highest pesticide residues. Studies show even small amounts of these chemicals add up and can impair a child's health when they're exposed during the early, critical stages of their development. When pesticide sprayers have to bundle up in astronaut-like suits for protection, it's clear parents want to feed their families food containing as little of these toxic chemicals as possible."
"Pesticides, while designed specifically to kill certain organisms, are also associated with a host of very serious health problems in people, including neurological deficits, ADHD, endocrine system disruption and cancer," said Andrew Weil, MD, Founder and Director, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and a renowned medical expert on natural health and wellness. "My advice to shoppers is to whenever possible avoid exposure to pesticides, including pesticide residues on food."
Now that I am a busy mom, I am stilling eating an organic green apple a day... it's one of my favorite, fast foods to grab and go!