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Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 159

Our food is being saturated with chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides.

Thoughts: Can I have 10 pesticides with that peach?

Peach's are the top produce grown using the MOST pesticides, followed by apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines and strawberries.

Can't afford to buy organic produce? Here is a list that shows the most contaminated to the cleanest foods. So you can still buy regular produce and consume less pesticides.

According to the article "Fear Of Pesticides Persuades Consumers To Go Organic" by Susan Salisbury, eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 10 pesticides a day, on average. Eating the least 15 contaminated will expose a person to less than 2 pesticides a day.

The Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide showed the "dirtest" foods, the most contaminated, here is a list ranked from most to least pesticides. (Note this study was done in USA)

1. Peach
2. Apple
3. Bell Pepper
4. Celery
5. Nectarine
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Kale
9. Lettuce
10. Grapes
11. Carrot
12. Pear

Peach's are the number one produce that use the most pesticides to grow.

The cleanest produce using the least pesticides to grow are, ranked with the best first,

1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet peas
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomato
15. Sweet potato

Onion is the number one produce that is lowest in pesticide use.

Is it worth paying an extra 30 cents for an organic apple? What about organic strawberries, $4 a pound versus $1.88 a pound.

The difference between organic grown and conventional grown produce is that with convential farmers use chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. Organic growers must avoid these to meet the Department of Agriculture organic standards.

"People don't realize how toxic regular convential produce really is. You don't just wash pesticides off" - Kathy Carroll founder of the Awesome Organic Fruit and Vegetable Club. They are grown with them and the chemicals are embedded in the produce's cells. Environmental Working Group in Washington agrees that rinsing reduces, but does not eliminate pesticides.

The philosophy behind the guide is simple: give consumers the information they need to make choices to reduce pesticides in their diets. In this spirit, the Guide does not present a complex assessment of pesticide risks, but instead simply reflects the overall load of pesticides found on commonly eaten fruits and vegetables.

"Pesticides cause many adverse effects in well designed animal studies, from cancer to nervous system damage to reproductive effects. Rather than assign more weight to cancer than birth defects, we simply assumed that all adverse effects are equal. There is a significant degree of uncertainty about the health effects of pesticide mixtures. This ranking takes this uncertainty into account in the most defensible way possible, by simply ranking fruits and vegetables by their likelihood of being consistently contaminated with the greatest number of pesticides at the highest levels." Environmental Working Group.

Every year, new research is published demonstrating the toxicity of pesticides to human health and the environment, often at doses previously declared "safe" by the pesticide industry and the government.

As acknowledged by the U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked with a variety of toxic effects, including:

Nervous system effects
Carcinogenic effects
Hormone system effects
Skin, eye and lung irritation

Children are especially at risk. "Chemical Free Kids" is a book on how to raise healthy children in a toxic world. I also learnt alot for myself!

Challenges: Pesticides are unique among the chemicals we release into the environment; they have inherent toxicity because they are designed to kill living organisms, insects, plants, and fungi that are considered "pests." Because they are toxic by design, many pesticides pose health risks to people, risks that have been acknowledged by independent research scientists and physicians across the world. AND even in the face of a growing body of evidence, pesticide manufacturers continue to defend their products, claiming that the amounts of pesticides on produce are not sufficient to elicit safety concerns. Yet, such statements are often made in the absence of actual data, since most safety tests done for regulatory agencies are not designed to discover whether low dose exposures to mixtures of pesticides and other toxic chemicals are safe, particularly during critical periods of development. In general, the government demands, and companies conduct, high dose studies designed to find gross, obvious toxic effects. In the absence of the appropriate tests at lower doses, pesticide and chemical manufacturers claim safety since the full effects of exposure to these mixtures of chemicals have not been conclusively demonstrated (or even studied). Disgusting.

Triumphs: I am so grateful that we have organic farmers out there!

What I Ate Today:

Breakfast: Warm water with lemon juice suqeezed in it. A beet, carrot, celery, ginger juice. Rockmelon (Cantaloupe).

Lunch: An avocado with walnuts and a salad. The salad was lettuce and raddish, carrot and edamame beans.

Dinner: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion and garlic fried in olive oil. With raw green snow peas.

Dessert: Chocolate balls with peanut butter!

Snacks: Chocolate balls with peanut butter!

Recipe: Recipe for chocolate balls is in blog day 115.

Exercise: Walking around John G's doing a video submission for a travel show directed by Josh Hodgins :)

206 days to go!!!

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