Top 5 Pesticide Threats in the Produce Aisle: Dangerous Fruits & Vegetables?
According to the Center for Food Safety (CFS), a national, non-profit environmental organization, 65 percent of food samples tested still bore pesticide residue after they had been peeled or washed. While the majority of Americans understand the importance of washing produce prior to consumption, very few are aware of the fact that some pesticides can actually leach into the flesh of a plant as it grows. This means that even peeling a fruit or vegetable doesn’t always eliminate the potential for harm from chemical poisons. At LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania in Collegeville, PA and Williamsport, PA, Dr. David DiGiallorenzo and his team emphasize the importance of being an informed consumer, particularly in regard to the fresh fruits and vegetables our families enjoy.
Pesticides on Produce: Five Worst Offenders
Even if you don’t wish to purchase all organic produce, keep these five in mind. We recommend that our patients choose organic versions of the following fruits and vegetables:
- Peaches. The USDA Pesticide Data Program, or PDP, found the residue of 62 different pesticides on peaches during their testing, including 12 neurotoxins and 8 chemicals that are known carcinogens.
- Celery. In 2008 (the last time that the PDP tested celery), 64 pesticides were discovered on and in celery stalks. 12 of these were known to be toxic to the brain and 10 were carcinogenic. 100 percent of celery samples tested positive for Spinosad, a honeybee toxin.
- Apples. Did you know that pesticide levels on most American-grown apples are so high that they cannot be legally sold in the European Union? 99 percent of apples tested by the PDP in 2010 were positive for at least one pesticide.
- Grapes. In 2010, the PDP found that grapes contained 56 pesticide residues, 8 of which have been proven to cause cancer. Other toxins found in grapes were shown to cause reproductive and developmental complications.
- Strawberries. The PDP found 45 pesticides in strawberries in 2009. The majority of these are associated with brain and nervous system concerns.
Maintaining a Healthy, Safe Diet
Pesticides, by their very nature, are toxic to living things. While designed to ward off insects, fungus, and other parasites that would otherwise harm produce, these chemicals can cause damage to the human body as well. The only way to reduce your family’s risk of exposure to pesticides is to purchase certified organic fruits and vegetables whenever you can. If you’d like to learn more about healthy eating and nutrition in general, we invite you to contact either of our offices and make an appointment with Dr. DiGiallorenzo. Conveniently located in Williamsport, PA and Collegeville, PA, LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania proudly serves patients from the surrounding areas of Lock Haven, Pottstown, Sunbury, Collegeville, Bloomberg, and beyond.