Have you ever wondered which foods contain the most hazardous substances, like pesticides, artificial ingredients, hormones, etc.?
I saw a link to this article "10 Foods to Always Buy Organic" on Twitter, and thought I'd share the list with you.
Apples: The skin of apples packs lots of vitamins, so you don’t want to peel it off. But even if you do, because apples are a big pest target, they’re heavily sprayed and often washing and peeling doesn’t get off all of the chemicals.
Bell Peppers: Their soft skin and lack of a protective layer lands bell peppers on the must-buy organic list.
Blueberries: This anti-oxidant powerhouse berries are among the ‘dirtiest’ of fruits. They’re sprayed with dozens of pesticides so make sure you buy fresh, organic blueberries.
Coffee: Coffee beans grown in other countries aren’t regulated, so look for the USDA Organic label to ensure your coffee doesn’t come with a shot of harmful chemicals.
Celery: Celery is sprayed with organo-phosphates, which have been linked to ADHD. Plus, because they haven’t any protective skin, they absorb the harmful chemicals rapidly and don’t wash off.
Grapes: It’s important to buy organic grapes but also if you’re a wine-drinker, look for organic wines. Grapes have thin skin and are heavily sprayed various times during the growing process.
Meat: Beef, pork and chicken store harmful chemicals and hormones in their fatty parts, so try to buy organic meat. If it’s too cost-prohibitive, stay away from the fatty cuts and don’t buy chicken thighs.
Peaches and Nectarines: Peaches and nectarines are another big pest target, so peach crops are heavily sprayed and their delicate skin absorbs the chemicals easily.
Potatoes: Spuds are also among the most contaminated veggies. If you can’t find organic, opt for Sweet Potatoes instead.
Spinach: A major bug target, spinach is among the most heavily sprayed leafy greens.
Then at Environmental Working Group, I found this run-down on the foods with the most pesticides:
Of the 12 most contaminated foods, 7 are fruits: peaches, strawberries, apples, domestic blueberries, nectarines, cherries and imported grapes. Notable findings:
- More than 96 percent of peaches tested positive for pesticides, followed by nectarines (95.1 percent) and apples (93.6 percent).
- Nearly 86 percent of peaches contained 2 or more pesticide residues ‚ followed by apples (82.3 percent) and nectarines (80.6 percent).
- Strawberries and domestic blueberries each had 13 pesticides detected on a single sample. Peaches and apples were second, with 9 pesticides on one sample.
- Peaches had been treated with more pesticides than any other produce, registering combinations of up to 67 different chemicals. Strawberries were next, with 53 pesticides and apples with 47.
Celery, sweet bell peppers, spinach, kale, collard greens and potatoes are the vegetables most likely to retain pesticide contamination:
- Some 95 percent all celery samples tested positive for pesticides, followed by imported cucumbers (84.5 percent) and potatoes (84.2 percent).
- Nearly 85 percent of celery samples contained multiple pesticides, followed by sweet bell peppers (61.5 percent) and collard greens (53.2 percent).
- A single celery was contaminated with 13 different chemicals, followed by kale (10), and collard greens, domestic green beans, spinach and lettuce (9).
- Celery had been treated with as many as 67 pesticides, followed by sweet bell peppers (63) and kale (57).
Finally, take a look at the "12 Most Contaminated Foods" list from Prevention Magazine online.
Antibiotics, drugs, and hormones are a standard in animal husbandry, all of which accumulate and are passed on to consumers as well. Ocean fish carry a higher risk for heavy metals than pesticides, though many freshwater fish are exposed to high levels of pesticides from contaminated water.
2. Milk, Cheese and Butter For reasons similar to those for meat, the fat in dairy products poses a high risk for contamination by pesticides. Animals concentrate pesticides and chemicals in their milk and meat. Growth hormones and antibiotics are also serious concerns and are invariably found in commercial milk, cheese, and butter.
3. Strawberries, Raspberries and Cherries Strawberries are the crop that is most heavily dosed with pesticides in America. On average, 300 pounds of pesticides are applied to every acre of strawberries (compared to an average of 25 pounds per acre for other foods). Thirty-six different pesticides are commonly used on strawberries, and 90% of strawberries tested register pesticide contamination above safe levels.
Raspberries trump strawberries with the application of 39 chemicals: 58% of the raspberries tested registered positive for contamination.
Cherries are almost as dodgy with 25 pesticides and 91% contamination.
4. Apples and Pears With 36 different chemicals detected in FDA testing, half of which are neurotoxins (meaning they cause brain damage), apples are almost as contaminated as strawberries.
Ninety-one percent of apples tested positive for pesticide residue. Peeling nonorganic apples reduces but does not eliminate the danger of ingesting these chemicals. Pears rank hazardously near apples with 35 pesticides and 94% contamination.
5. Tomatoes It's standard practice for more than 30 pesticides to be sprayed on conventionally grown tomatoes. The thin skin does not stop chemicals from infiltrating the whole tomato, so peeling won't help you here.
6. Potatoes Potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables, but they also rank among the most contaminated with pesticides and fungicides. Twenty-nine pesticides are commonly used, and 79% of potatoes tested exceed safe levels of multiple pesticides.
7. Spinach and Other Greens The FDA found spinach to be the vegetable most frequently contaminated with the most potent pesticides used on food. Eighty-three percent of the conventionally grown spinach tested was found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of at least some of the 36 chemical pesticides commonly used to grow it.
8. Coffee Most coffee is grown in countries where there are little to no standards regulating the use of
Foreign countries import these chemicals to cultivate food, which is sold back to the United States. Coffee is an unfortunate culprit in this vicious cycle of malevolent agriculture. Purchasing "Fair Trade" coffee provides insurance that the premium price paid for this treasured beverage supports farms and workers with more equanimity and reward.
9. Peaches and Nectarines Forty-five different pesticides are regularly applied to succulent, delicious peaches and nectarines in conventional orchards. The thin skin does not protect the fruit from the dangers of these poisons. Ninety-seven percent of nectarines and 95% of peaches tested for pesticide residue show contamination from multiple chemicals.
10. Grapes Because grapes are a delicate fruit, they are sprayed multiple times during different stages of growth. The thin skin does not offer much protection from the 35 different pesticides used as a standard in conventional vineyards.
Imported grapes are even more heavily treated than grapes grown in the United States. Several of the most poisonous pesticides banned in the United States are still used on grapes grown abroad. Eighty-six percent of grapes test positive for pesticide contamination; samples from Chile showed the highest concentration of the most poisonous chemicals.
11. Celery Conventionally grown celery is subjected to at least 29 different chemicals, which cannot be washed off because, of course, celery does not have any protective skin. Ninety-four percent of celery tested was found to have pesticide residues in violation of safe levels.
12. Red and Green Bell Peppers Bell peppers are one of the most heavily sprayed foods, with standard use of 39 pesticides. Sixty-eight percent of bell peppers tested had high levels of chemical pesticide residues. The thin skin of peppers does not offer much protection from spraying and is often waxed with harmful substances.