Toxic Fruits & Veggies 2019: Organic or Not Organic? Avoiding Pesticides When Buying on a Budget
Naturopathic Nuggets about Pesticides in Your Fruits & Veggies
- Some of the most toxic pesticides are used in our mass production society, to forcefully control fungi, insects & weeds.
- The benefits of pesticides do not seem to outweigh the severe effects on humans, killing other species and contaminating the water & soil environment.
- The toxicity of pesticides are well researched and linked to many health concerns including Cancer, Dementia, Brain Toxicity, Skin Rashes (Dermatitis), Asthma, Diabetes, Children’s Intelligence & Brain Development, Hormonal Disruption, Fertility and Birth Defects
- Society has threatened decline, starvation & job losses without these synthetic pesticides as it’s a billion dollar industry, but pesticide resistance is increasing and more evidence is available that natural alternatives can be just as effective as chemical pesticides.
- Glyphosate (also found in Roundup), is most used on Corn, Beets, Soybeans & Non-Organic Non-GMO Wheat, and may be more toxic than DDT.
- Research shows pesticides cause gut inflammation, dysbiosis (leaky gut, food allergies, systemic candidiasis), antibiotic resistance, increased cancer risk, nutritional deficiencies, impairs cellular repair, reducing detox liver enzymes and increases brain inflammation (Autism, Alzheimer’s disease)
- Education is critical to navigate a pesticide ridden food chain. It is important to note that washing or peeling produce will NOT remove the chemicals below the surface, and therefore it is critical to know which foods are most effected, and when to buy organic.
- Ideally, eating all organic produce would be healthiest but budget restraints may prevent this. This list will help to minimize your pesticide exposure, thanks to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen.
- Read on to find the most toxic fruits & vegetables with the highest pesticide residues that you should avoid unless organic. Conversely, there is list of the most tolerable less likely to contain pesticide residues.
Pesticides are prevalent in our mass production society, to forcefully control fungi, insects & weeds. Commercial & residential use of pesticides total over a billion pounds per year in America alone, and almost 8 billion pounds worldwide. In fact, some of the most toxic of pesticides are still commonly used today. The benefits of pesticides do not seem to outweigh the severe effects on humans, killing other species and contaminating the water & soil environment.
Canadian Regulation of Pesticides
Even Health Canada regulates pesticides, and encourages Farmers to “reduce their reliance on and minimize their exposure to pesticides”. Despite that, Health Canada does not acknowledge the evidence of the health risk related to pesticide residues (Health Canada, 2017).
How Pesticides Affect Your Health
The toxicity of pesticides are well researched and linked to many health concerns, including:
- Cancer (Bassil et al., 2007)
- Dementia, Brain Toxicity (Kamel & Hoppin, 2004)
- Skin Rashes (Dermatitis) (Sanborn et al., 2007)
- Asthma (Amaral, 2014)
- Diabetes (NIEHS, 2008)
- Children’s Intelligence & Brain Development (Jurewicz & Hanke, 2008)
- Hormonal Disruption (Bretveld, Thomas, Scheepers, Zielhuis, & Roelveld, 2006)
- Fertility and Birth Defects (Sanborn et al., 2007)
Pesticides: a Billion Dollar Bug Killing Business
Society has threatened decline, starvation & job losses without these synthetic pesticides as it’s a billion dollar industry, but it may be self-regulating as pesticide resistance is increasing. Also, more evidence is available that natural alternatives can be just as effective as chemical pesticides. Other countries are leading by example, in their pursuit of chemical free food production, with incredible results of actual increases in crop yields.
UN Global Treaty against Toxic Pesticides
In Early March 2017, two United Nations Experts call for a new global treaty to phase out dangerous pesticides & move towards sustainable farming practices. The Report presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva highlighted, per Sustainable Pulse:
- excessive use pesticides are very dangerous to human health & the environment
- misleading claims that toxic pesticides are critical for food supply
- protection varies with varying national regulations creating a double standard in developing countries
- few hundred thousand annual deaths from acute pesticide poisoning
- chronic exposure health concerns: Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases, hormone disruption, developmental disorders & sterility
- obligation of the united states to protect children from hazardous pesticides
- warn that the toxic pesticides persist environmentally for decades
- threaten the entire ecological system (neonicotinoid pesticides destroy bees that cross pollinate 71% crops)
- contamination water & soil
- loss of biodiversity
- destroying natural enemies of pests
- reducing nutritional value of food
- stress global treaty necessity to regulate all pesticides
- challenge pesticide industry’s “systematic denial of harms” and “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics,” noting the industry is spending massive amounts of money to influence policymakers and contest scientific evidence showing their products do in fact cause great harm to human and environmental health.
The Deadliest Toxic Pesticide: Glyphosate
Glyphosate is most used on Corn, Beets, Soybeans & Non-Organic Non-GMO Wheat. Horrifically, Glyphosate & Roundup may be more toxic than DDT. Research shows the following Health Concerns:
- gut inflammation, dysbiosis (leaky gut, food allergies, systemic candidiasis)
- antibiotic resistance
- increased cancer risk
- nutritional deficiencies (pesticide alters nutrition of crop by immobilizing nutrients, especially minerals)
- increased toxin exposure
- disruption production of protein building blocks (amino acids)
- reducing detox liver enzymes which enhances body damage & toxic effects
- ammonia byproduct causing Autism, Alzheimer’s disease (brain inflammation)
Pesticides: Knowing Your Toxic Fruits & Veggies
Until our society embraces non-synthetic pesticide use, we must educate ourselves. It is important to note that washing or peeling produce will not remove the chemicals below the surface, and therefore it is critical to know which foods are most effected, and when to buy organic. Of course, consuming all organic produce would be best, but budget restraints allow you to minimize your pesticide exposure with this list, thanks to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen.
Pesticides: The Most Toxic Fruits & Veggies of 2019
AVOID these unless ORGANIC due to the Highest Pesticide Residues (In Order of Most to Least Toxic):
- Hot Peppers
Pesticides: The Most Tolerable Fruits & Veggies of 2019
LESS Likely to Contain Pesticide Residues:
- Sweet Corn*
- Sweet Peas Frozen
- 15.Honeydew Melons
*Genetically Modified Crops (GMO) are not required to be labeled, so the following are a concern:
- Summer Squash
- Most Hawaiian Papaya
Items that are Certified Organic or have the NON-GMO Project Verified Label are clear of pesticides & GMO respectively.
Pesticides & Weight Gain
One last note, weight loss is a common concern for many, and from a health perspective, it is key to note that fat gain often occurs to protect the body from its own toxicity. So your health endeavours should include this list, to minimize your toxic exposure and help you maintain a health weight. Happy Shopping!
Amaral AF. Pesticides and asthma: challenges for epidemiology. Frontiers in Public Health. 2014 Jan 24;2:6.
Bassil KL, Vakil C, Sanborn M, Cole DC, Kaur JS, Kerr KJ. Cancer health effects of pesticides: systematic review. Canadian Family Physician. 2007 Oct 1;53(10):1704-11.
Bretveld RW, Thomas CM, Scheepers PT, Zielhuis GA, Roeleveld N. Pesticide exposure: the hormonal function of the female reproductive system disrupted?. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. 2006 Dec;4(1):30.
Canada, H. (2017). Pesticides and food safety – Canada.ca. [online] Canada.ca. Available at: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/pest/_fact-fiche/pesticide-food-alim/index-eng.php#a2 [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].
Canada, H. (2019). Pesticides and food safety – Canada.ca. [online] Canada.ca. Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/about-pesticides/pesticides-food-safety.html [Accessed 19 Apr. 2019].
Elver H. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food [Internet]. Documents-dds-ny.un.org., United Nations Human Rights Council. 2017. Available from: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/017/85/PDF/G1701785.pdf?OpenElement [Accessed 20 April 2019]
Group, E. (2019). Dirty Dozen™ Fruits and Vegetables with the Most Pesticides. [online] EWG.org. Available at: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php [Accessed 17 Apr. 2019].
Jurewicz J, Hanke W. Prenatal and childhood exposure to pesticides and neurobehavioral development: review of epidemiological studies. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health. 2008 Jan 1;21(2):121-32.
Kamel F, Hoppin JA. Association of pesticide exposure with neurologic dysfunction and disease. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2004 May 20;112(9):950-8.
Mesnage R, Arno M, Costanzo M, Malatesta M, Séralini GE, Antoniou MN. Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure. Environmental Health. 2015 Dec;14(1):70.
Newswise.com. (2019). Long-term Pesticide Exposure May Increase Risk of Diabetes | Newswise: News for Journalists. [online] Available at: https://www.newswise.com/articles/view/541427/ [Accessed 19 Apr. 2019].
8. Pulse S. UN Experts Slam Global Pesticide Industry for Human and Environmental Damage – Full Report – Sustainable Pulse [Internet]. Sustainable Pulse. 2017 Available from: https://sustainablepulse.com/2017/03/07/un-experts-slam-global-pesticide-industry-for-human-and-environmental-damage-full-report-here/#.XLswmJNKhSw [cited 20 April 2019].
Sanborn M, Kerr KJ, Sanin LH, Cole DC, Bassil KL, Vakil C. Non-cancer health effects of pesticides: systematic review and implications for family doctors. Canadian Family Physician. 2007 Oct 1;53(10):1712-20.
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