Thursday, 25 July 2013

47 Fruits and Veggies and Their Pesticide Loads

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Every year, new research is published showing the toxicity of pesticides to human health and the environment, often at doses previously declared "safe" by the pesticide industry and the government. 

As acknowledged by the U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked with a variety of toxic effects, including:
·         Nervous system effects
·         Carcinogenic effects
·         Hormone system effects
·         Skin, eye and lung irritation

Pesticides are unique among the chemicals we release into the environment; they have inherent toxicity because they are designed to kill living organisms, insects, plants, and fungi that are considered "pests." Because they are toxic by design, many pesticides pose health risks to people, risks that have been acknowledged by independent research scientists and physicians across the world.

Protecting our families' health from chemical exposures can start with minimizing children's exposure to pesticides. It is now well established that pesticides pose a risk to vital organ systems that continue to grow and mature from conception throughout infancy and childhood. Exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals during critical periods of development can have lasting adverse effects both in early development and later in life. The metabolism, physiology, and biochemistry of a fetus, infant or child are fundamentally different from those of adults; a young, organism is often less able to metabolize and inactivate toxic chemicals and can be much more vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides. The nervous system, brain, reproductive organs and endocrine (hormone) system can be permanently, if subtly, damaged by exposure to toxic substances in-utero or throughout early childhood that, at the same level, cause no measurable harm to adults. The developing brain and endocrine system are very sensitive, and low doses at a susceptible moment of development can cause more of an effect than high doses. It is especially important to reduce pesticide exposures of babies and young children so as to minimize these risks.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk?

Addressing the risks of pesticide exposure first and foremost requires information, which is frequently made unavailable to the general public by the government agencies. To counteract this trend for secrecy, EWG believes that:

People have a right to know what's in their food, so they can choose foods with less pesticides.
·    The government can and should take steps to dramatically reduce the number and amount of toxic chemicals, including pesticides, in the food supply.

Each of us can opt for food safety today by choosing to purchase produce low in pesticides and by buying organically-raised fruits and vegetables as frequently as possible. With this first step we can protect our families' health and preserve our own future and the future of the environment from the harmful effects of pesticides.

The following chart ranks the highest (100 score) and lowest (1 score) pesticide loads of popular fruits and veggies. 

RANK
FRUIT OR VEGGIE
SCORE
1 (worst)
Peach
100 (highest pesticide load)
2
Apple
93
3
Sweet Bell Pepper
83
4
Celery
82
5
Nectarine
81
6
Strawberries
80
7
Cherries
73
8
Kale
69
9
Lettuce
67
10
Grapes - Imported
66
11
Carrot
63
12
Pear
63
13
Collard Greens
60
14
Spinach
58
15
Potato
56
16
Green Beans
53
17
Summer Squash
53
18
Pepper
51
19
Cucumber
50
20
Raspberries
46
21
Grapes - Domestic
44
22
Plum
44
23
Orange
44
24
Cauliflower
39
25
Tangerine
37
26
Mushrooms
36
27
Banana
34
28
Winter Squash
34
29
Cantaloupe
33
30
Cranberries
33
31
Honeydew Melon
30
32
Grapefruit
29
33
Sweet Potato
29
34
Tomato
29
35
Broccoli
28
36
Watermelon
26
37
Papaya
20
38
Eggplant
20
39
Cabbage
17
40
Kiwi
13
41
Sweet Peas - Frozen
10
42
Asparagus
10
43
Mango
9
44
Pineapple
7
45
Sweet Corn - Frozen
2
46
Avocado
1
47 (best)
Onion
1 (lowest pesticide load)

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