The Environmental Working Group (EWG),a non-profit organization that specializes in the research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands etc., has released their annual report to help consumers make more informed choices about what they are putting into their bodies.
Lists known as the “Dirty Dozen” or “Clean 15” analyze data on pesticide levels of 48 commonly sold fruits and veggies.
Although the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set limits on allowable pesticide residue that’s consider safe and requires all produce sold in stores to meet certain standards, low levels of pesticide exposure can also be harmful to the human body.
Pesticide Exposure and Health Hazards
In a number of medical studies pesticide exposure has been shown to cause serious damage to the immune system. It has also been linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as disorders such as Autism and Endometriosis.
Furthermore ingestion of pesticides can create the right environment for activation of latent viruses such as Epstein Bar Virus which is usually dormant.
Apples, grapes, celery, and cherry tomatoes are just some of the fruits and veggies containing low to high levels of pesticide residue.
Although many pesticides have been restricted or banned because of their relation to cancer, birth defects, and neurological damage, little attention has been paid to the impairment they have on animal and human immune systems.
Recent studies show considerable evidence that widely used pesticides may suppress immune responses to bacteria, viruses, parasites, and tumors ultimately making people more vulnerable to disease.
Buying organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables is the best assurance of pesticide-free produce. National surveys suggest that fruits and vegetables from farmers markets contain fewer pesticides, even if the produce is not organic.
Another way to minimize exposure to these toxic chemicals is to wash your produce before ingesting. Although some product labels indicate the fruits or vegetables have been washed re-wash them to guarantee safety.
Having an awareness of which fruits and vegetables contain the highest pesticide levels can help one make informed decisions. Finally, growing your own produce is a surefire way of controlling pesticide exposure.