Top 10 Fruit and Vegetables You Must Consume as Organic
Since I have changed my webpage and old blog I thought I would update and re-post a couple of blogs that I wrote one and a half years ago. Hormone balance is very much dependent on the total load of xenoestrogens which are present in many pesticides. This is especially important for anyone who suffers from oestrogen dominance.
Cherry pick your organic produce
Some fruit and vegetables are more important to consume as organic than others and unfortunately many people cannot afford to buy all their produce as organic, which is why I have decided to put this list together. Eating your five a day from non-organic fruit and vegetables could mean that you consume around 14 different pesticides daily. Many pesticides have been linked to cancer, hormonal imbalance and nervous system disorders, which is why it is important to avoid the most contaminated fruit and vegetables to minimise the burden of toxic chemicals.
People who “often or always” buy organic fruit and vegetables have significantly less pesticides in their urine, even though they report eating much more fruit and vegetables than people who “rarely or never” buy organic produce. So let us take a look at this list.
Most people I know drink coffee every day. Although coffee is not technically a fruit or a vegetable I want to add coffee to the list for this reason. It may not be the first beverage you will think of as being important to buy organic. It is however made from the pit inside of the coffee fruit. Unfortunately, many countries that grow coffee do not regulate the use of pesticides and other chemicals leaving you in the dark guessing whether your coffee is safe or not. A good start is to look for the Fair Trade label; this certifies that no chemicals or pesticides were used on the plants. It also means that the workers have been paid a fair wage!
If you want to go the extra mile to get guaranteed pesticide and mould toxin free coffee I recommend you to have a look at the coffee from Bulletproof which can be found as both ground and whole beans.
Of all apples tested 99% test positive for at least one pesticide. Apples have a fairly thin skin, which means that any pesticide applied is easily absorbed into the fruit. Scrubbing or peeling an apple will unfortunately not make much of a difference.
Peppers are one of the most heavily sprayed vegetables. 15 different pesticides have been detected in a single sample of peppers. Since their skin is very thin there is not much of a protective barrier and the pesticides easily penetrate the skin, which means that they can be found in the whole fruit.
Lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens are usually sprayed heavily with pesticides. Washing the leaves will not make any difference as the pesticides are absorbed thoroughly. This is probably one of the most important greens to buy organic. If you cannot find any organic leafy greens, try substitute for cabbage.
These little wonderful berries are unfortunately sprayed with as many pesticides as lettuce. Since they do not have a protective skin you can remove it makes them heavily contaminated. Imported strawberries out of season may be even worse due to less strict regulations for pesticide use in other countries. Some supermarkets do however have organic strawberries, I know that Ocado stock them.
This is another vegetable which has no protective skin. Washing celery will not help as pesticides are easily absorbed into the stalk. Most celery is heavily contaminated with pesticides.
As many as 15 different pesticides have been found in a single sample of grapes. Grapes are usually sprayed with many different pesticides and fungicides throughout the season during the different growth phases. As they have very thin skin, chemicals can easily penetrate the skin to contaminate the whole grape.
This might come as another surprise as they grow underground. Unfortunately the average potato has more pesticides by weight than any other produce. In addition to pesticides, the soil they grow in is often treated with fungicides as well. If you are still eating potatoes you should probably look at going organic or substitute for sweet potatoes, which is a much safer alternative.
Unfortunately, tomatoes are usually treated with many different pesticides. Their skin is very thin which means that pesticides are easily absorbed and can be found in the whole tomato. An average sample of tomatoes contains 13 different pesticides. Do not forget that the same goes for canned tomatoes or tomato puree!
Peaches and nectarines
98% of all peaches and 97% of all nectarines tested contains at least one pesticide residue. Washing these fruits will not make a difference as they also absorb pesticides through the skin. If you cannot find them organic, just avoid them totally.
Eating your five a day is beneficial in many ways. However, there is no doubt in my mind that it is more detrimental to eat these 10 fruit and vegetables when conventionally grown than not eating any fruit or vegetables at all. Yes the fibre in fruit and vegetables are supporting your healthy gut flora, but pesticides kill them. So start avoid these fruit and vegetables on this list and go for less contaminated produce if you cannot afford or find organic alternatives.
The Environmental Working Group. EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php