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The 12 Most Toxic Fruits and Vegetables

Pesticides and The Food We Eat

Copyright Denise Palmer

Known as the Dirty Dozen, conventionally grown peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes contain the highest levels of pesticides, according to the Environmental Work Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization in Washington, D.C.

Up to 20 different pesticides are used in the traditional production of the
Dirty Dozen and contrary to popular belief, simply washing or peeling your
fruits and vegetables doesn't guarantee elimination. The pesticides used are often absorbed into the plants, which allows them to bind to the fruits and vegetables, making it impossible to eliminate their presence.

The chemicals within these pesticides are reported to disrupt your immune system, nervous system, reproductive system and hormonal system.

While washing and rinsing fresh produce may reduce some pesticides, it does not eliminate them. Peeling also helps remove some of the pesticides, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the peel.

Because the toxic effects of pesticides are worrisome, not well understood, or in some cases completely unstudied, shoppers are wise to minimize exposure to pesticides whenever possible.

Consumers who switch to organic versions of these foods could cut their
pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent, according to EWG. It analyzed nearly 43,000 tests conducted by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2004.

Kathy's Cafe: Rules for Healthy Eating suggests: "Commercially grown fruits and vegetables are filled with herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. It is estimated that the average American consumes one pound of these toxic chemicals each year. Research has linked these toxins with breast and prostrate cancer, as well as auto-immunity and numerous other diseases. Studies have shown the mineral content of organic fruits & vegetables to be twice as high as those in commercially grown."' This is compelling information and these risks can be easily and effectively eliminated.

If your family replaced just these 12 fruits and vegetables, on a consistent
basis, you would be dramatically decreasing your toxic intake and significantly increasing your health and well being.

Produce with the least amount of pesticides - and ones you probably don't need to pay organic prices for - include onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangoes, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papaya, according to the EWG study.

So whether you choose to go organic, or switch to less contaminated produce, you can start eliminating harmful and unhealthy pesticides for your family today for a healthier and happier future.

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About the author

"themom", a/k/a Denise Palmer is a mom and Internet Consultant. Moms Organic House is a combination of 13 years of Internet experience and a passion for organic living and education. If you'd like to learn more about how to create or sustain a practical, simple, yet effective organic lifestyle, visit Moms Organic House at http://www.momsorganichouse.com for more information.