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Your Favorite Fruits and Veggies May be Killing You

Your Favorite Fruits and Veggies May be Killing You
March 30
10:58 2017

(HSI) – If you enjoy strawberries on your oatmeal, topped with Greek yogurt, or mixed up in a smoothie, you’re getting an added bonus with those cheery red fruits… and it’s one you probably weren’t expecting.

Strawberries took the honors this year of landing in the number one spot on the just-out “Dirty Dozen” list from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The group tracks which fruits and veggies retain the most pesticide residues, based on data compiled by the USDA and FDA.

Where strawberries are concerned, they averaged just shy of an unbelievable 8 different pesticides in each sample!

These are chemicals that can cause cancer and damage hormones and are toxic to your nervous system — and especially dangerous for our kids and grandkids to ingest.

But fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to keep healthy eating from becoming a risky proposition.

‘A small price to pay’

Like you, I try my best to eat healthier, whether that’s ordering a veggie salad or opting for some fruit for dessert instead of a sweet treat.
What I shouldn’t be expected to get along with those “smarter” choices is a witches’ brew of toxic chemicals.

One such poison detected on 20 percent of strawberry samples, carbendazim, is a rather nasty fungicide that can damage your reproductive system. That one is so toxic that the European Union has banned it!

Another, found in 11 percent of the strawberries tested, is malathion — which is considered a “probable” human carcinogen and is highly toxic to your nervous system.

But strawberries are just one on a long list of heavily-sprayed crops. And, as this research discovered, these sprays often linger on the produce you buy in the supermarket.

For example, right under strawberries and moving up the list to the number-two slot this year is Popeye’s favorite food — spinach. I mean, this is one of those veggies regarded as so healthy it practically wears a halo! And yet, it very well could contain residues of permethrin, a pesticide that is highly toxic to the brain, especially where kids are concerned.

That’s in addition to three toxic fungicides that were detected at high levels on the spinach samples. Tests found an average of seven different chemicals on individual samples — with some having as many as 16 different pesticides on them!

Other top contenders included:

apples (usually at the top of the list of the most pesticide-loaded fruits, now occupying the number-four slot), and
peaches, the summertime favorite of kids everywhere.
Potatoes and pears have also been added to this year’s “Dirty Dozen” list.

There is some good news to report, however. The EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” list of the safest conventionally grown fruits and veggies to eat includes sweet corn, avocados (yes!), pineapples, cabbage, onions, melons (honeydew and cantaloupe), cauliflower and frozen sweet peas.

But if you’re going to be buying anything on the full Dirty Dozen list (I’ll give you a link at the end), you definitely want to try and find organically-grown versions. As the EWG says in its report, buying organic at a slightly higher cost is “a small price to pay,” when you consider the damage these chemicals can do.

Another thing you can do, if your favorites aren’t available in organic versions, is to look for a local farmers market. Many times, small farming operations use considerably fewer chemicals than large-scale farms do — and you can question growers face-to-face about how they produced their crops.

It all boils down to the fact that a healthy bowl of greens or fruit shouldn’t be upping your risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or any other disease. And we can’t put our trust in the USDA or FDA to keep us and our family safe from these invisible dangers.

For the EWG’s complete list, visit and click on “DIRTY DOZEN.”

“The dirtiest produce in your supermarket revealed” Suzee Skwiot, March 8, 2017, Rodale Wellness,

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