Posted by: Mahdi Ebrahimi | April 27, 2009

Pesticides, fresh produce washing is not enough

Organic eating is proving to be more than a fashion. According to a recent U.S. report published by the Environmental Working Group ( – a non-profit environmental-research organization – washing and rinsing fresh produce may reduce levels of some pesticides but are not sufficient to eliminate them. “There is growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can adversely affect people, especially during vulnerable periods of fetal development and childhood when exposures can have long-lasting effects”, the EWG report highlights.

Organically grown fruits and vegetables are not covered with synthetic fertilizers, anti-fungal treatments or radiation – and they’re not genetically modified. “Peeling also reduces exposures but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the peel. The best option is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce and choose organic when possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals”. Organic meat, eggs and dairy products come from more humanely raised animals that haven’t been pumped full of antibiotics or growth hormones. Another reason to support organic agriculture is that organic farms are generally smaller-scale and conservation-conscious, which means that they strive to reduce the impact of their practices on natural resources. Furthermore, many seem to maintain that organic food also tastes better. The Environmental Working Group suggests that switching to organic could start with just a few foods that are most often eaten. Here are the recommended seven foods to start with: Dairy products: Milk, yogurt and cheese are considered healthy bone-strengtheners, especially for children, but the additions of hormones and antibiotics undermine the simple goodness of commercial dairy products. Potatoes: Commercially farmed potatoes are among the most pesticide-filled vegetables, and they still contain residues after being washed and peeled. Meat (including poultry and eggs): Animal products can contain antibiotics, hormones and even heavy metals like arsenic that is used to prompt an animal’s rapid growth. Ketchup: Even besides the pesticide issue, research has shown organic ketchup has nearly double the good-for-you antioxidants of conventional ketchup. Apples: Apples are among the most pesticide-filled fruits out there. Coffee: Conventional coffee farming relies heavily on pesticide use and contributes to deforestation around the globe. Nuts and seeds (including peanuts and nut butters): Pesticides and fungicides are rampant in the production of these foods, and many varieties are bleached after harvest. The Environmental Working Group has developed the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce”, now in its fifth edition, which ranks 43 fruits and veggies according to their pesticide content. The Association suggests that it is better to choose the organic grown varieties of peaches, nectarines, cherries, strawberries, table grapes, apples, pears, peppers, lettuce, carrots – which register the highest level of pesticides when conventionally grown. On the contrary, onions, avocados, corn, pineapples, mangos, asparagus, peas, kiwifruits, cabbages, aubergines, papayas, watermelons, broccoli and tomatoes don’t contain in general worrisome levels of pesticides.

source: greenplanet



  1. […] Original post by Organic Food […]

  2. […] Mahdi Ebrahimi put an intriguing blog post on Pesticides, fresh produce washing is not enough « Organic FoodHere’s a quick excerptOrganic meat, eggs and dairy products come from more humanely raised animals that haven’t been pumped full of antibiotics or growth hormones. Another reason to support organic agriculture is that organic farms are generally … […]

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