"Pesticides are a public health problem requiring public engagement to solve" - PAN (Pesticides Action Network)
Sad truth is that the majority don’t realise that pesticide residues had become the new norm. And what's even worse is that most of newborn children have persistent pesticides and other chemicals already in their bodies, passed from their mother during fetal development.
PAN North America states that the human health impacts linked to pesticide exposure range from birth defects and childhood brain cancer in the very young, to Parkinsons’ Disease in the elderly. In between are a variety of other cancers, developmental and neurological disorders, reproductive and hormonal system disruptions, and more.
While vegetables and fruits are essential components of a healthy diet, many researchers are pointing out that pesticides in produce may pose subtle health risks, especially fertility risk as shown below:
A research conducted by Environmental Working Group, EWG singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. This year (2018) the list includes, in descending order:
- strawberries (most infected)
- sweet bell peppers (less infected)
Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce.
- More than 98% of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
- A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.
- Spinach samples had, on average, 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
EWG's Clean Fifteen list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues included:
- sweet corn
- frozen sweet peas
Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues.
- Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest. Less than 1% of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
- More than 80% of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbages had no pesticide residues.
- No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four pesticides.
- Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. Only 5% of Clean Fifteen vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.
While the majority is still being ignorant, many people are becoming more educated thanks to the abundance of information available on the internet. Many start asking their local suppliers about the pesticides, and are opting out for products that have BIO or Organic label.
By eating food produced organically, locally (by honest local farmers) and without pesticides, not only will you be reducing the amount of pesticide in your body, you will be also helping create a better environment for other people, the planet, and future generations.
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