Pesticides and your food have been in the news lately, at least if you've been looking. The United Nations has come out with two reports condemning pesticide use and advocating for not just a lowered use of the toxic chemicals but an actual "phasing" out of their use in favour of more sustainable, cleaner agricultural habits.
Also EWG has come out with their annual report on the most pesticide-soaked fruits and vegetables.
EWG (Environmental Working Group) is a renowned environmental research group and a leading agricultural and environmental watchdog agency. EWG released their annual Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce and listen a "Dirty Dozen" for 2017.
These are conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues. The pesticides include a frightening array of toxins with names such as acephate, chlorpyrifos, oxamyl, glyphosate and more - most have been shown to be toxic endocrine inhibitors that have linked to autoimmune issues, cancers, lower IQ in children, slower cognitive development, dysbiosis and other gut-related issues such as leaky gut, IBS.
The EWG report found that more than 98% of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of one or more pesticides.
One strawberry sample showed 20 different pesticides.
Spinach had, on average, twice as much pesticide residue for weight than any other crop.
In the order EWG listed them:
- Capsicum (sweet bell peppers)
Genetically engineered crops, or GMOs, were found in most processed foods. These foods, such as breakfast cereals, corn and potato chips are high in pesticides - hardly the breakfast of champions.
How about the cleanest? Avocados tested the cleanest. More than 80% of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbage had no pesticide residues.
What can you do to reduce these health risks? Purchase organic produce where available. Also, soaking your vegetables and fruits for 10-20 minutes and then rinsing will help reduce (sometimes significantly) chemical residue levels. Cooking was also found to reduce the levels of toxins.
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- Tags: dysbiosis, endocrine inhibitors, GMOs, grass-fed, IBS, insecticides, leaky gut, organic, pesticides