Eating fresh produce is the best way to obtain the nutrients that support optimum health, but the pesticides used on many crops remain a major health concern. This is the primary reason why at Fit Chow we use produce that has never been treated with pesticides. By choosing organic foods, you can reap the health benefits of fruits and vegetables without exposing yourself and your family to potentially harmful chemicals. Pesticides present real health risks, particularly to children and those with health concerns. The toxicity most commonly associated with pesticides in animal studies include disruptions in the normal functioning of the nervous and endocrine system, and increased risks of cancer (http://www.drweil.com).
You may be familiar with the term “Dirty Dozen”. This is a list of produce (fruits and vegetables) used to identify the produce with pesticide residue found in them. If you don’t want to eat bug and weed killers, when shopping on your own you most definitely want to purchase organic or pesticide free versions of the produce listed on the the Dirty Dozen. However, rest assure, at Fit Chow you will only be served organic and/or local pesticide free fruits and vegetables.
The Dirty Dozen
Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen™ list of produce includes apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes. Each of these foods contained a number of different pesticide residues and showed high concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce items.
Every sample of imported nectarines and 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food.
A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides. Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides a piece.
The Clean Fifteen
Environmental Working Group’s Clean Fifteen for 2014 – the produce least likely to hold pesticide residues – are avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticides. So when shopping, if cost and saving a some money is a concern for your family, you may choose to use the conventional versions of these produce items.
Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent of avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.
Some 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues.
No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen™ tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides.
Detecting multiple pesticide residues is extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen samples had two or more pesticides.