Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pesticide-Rich Foods

As I mentioned in the previous post, there are very few, if any, proven adverse health implications from consuming trace quantities of pesticides present on exterior of foods. However, there might be long-term effects of pesticide consumption that we aren't aware of yet. So I'd recommend playing it safe, and trying to limit consumption of foods which have a lot of pesticide residue.

One way of achieving it would be eating only organic food. By definition, organic produce was cultivated without use of pesticide or other harmful chemicals.   

If organic food is not available where you live, or you can't afford to go purely organic, take a look at the list I posted below, and consider either limiting those foods in your diet, or switching to buying their organic counterparts. If you do that, you should be able to reduce your exposure to pesticide by 80% (link).

A list of foods that consistently have a lot of pesticide residue (based on the USDA tests conducted after a typical household preparation):

(1) Leafy Greens 
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens

Safer alternatives: cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens.

(2) Berries
  • Strawberries 
  • Blueberries 
  • Cranberries 
  • Cherries 
Safer alternatives: kiwi, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, melons.

(3) Tree Fruits
  • Apples, as well as apple juice and apple sauce.
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes, as well as raisins and wine
Peeling will help reducing exposure to pesticide residue, but it will also take away many of the fruit's most beneficial nutrients.

Safer alternatives: kiwi, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, melons.

(4) Celery

Safer alternatives: cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.

(5) Potatoes

Safer alternative: sweet potatoes. 

(6) Fatty Meats

Safer alternative: lean meats.

(7) Milk

(8) Coffee and cocoa beans (coffee, cocoa, chocolate)

And here's a list of fifteen "clean" vegetables and fruits: 

(1) Onions 
(2) Sweet Corn
(3) Pineapple
(4) Avocado Avocado
(5) Asparagus
(6) Sweet peas
(7) Mango
(8) Eggplant
(9) Cantaloupe (domestic)
(10) Kiwi
(11) Cabbage
(12) Watermelon
(13) Sweet Potatoes
(14) Grapefruit
(15) Mushrooms

In general, fruits and vegetables with thick skins that are removed before eating (melons, avocado, corn, etc.) tend to have the lowest amounts of pesticide residue.

Adapted from: link.