Nutrition: Pesticide Produce

Making better eating choices is a crucial part of living a health-conscious lifestyle. But there’s the issue of much of farming produce containing traces of pesticide residue which are detrimental to one’s health. The EPA denied the petition to ban the use of chlorpyrifos in 2017 even though the residue on produce was found to be unsafe in 2016.

Although their use in consumer goods is banned, they are still used on crops and their harmful effects are retained in produce such as potatoes and oranges. Neonic pesticides are used on corn and not only do they contribute to bee deaths but they are harmful to humans as well.

Among the long list of produce that suffers a pesticide-ridden fate, spinach ranks pretty high based on the astonishing number of up to 16 pesticides that were found on some samples of the leafy green. Although going the organic route can help one escape the exposure to pesticide residue because they contain lower levels than conventional produce.

But consumers can find that they have increased traces of Persistent Organic Pollutants which are present in the environment and become part of the fatty tissue in animals. This would explain their presence in animal-based foods such as dairy products and organic meat.

Despite this, many people are spending a considerable amount of money on organic produce but there’s a reason. Many consumers opt for organic produce, particularly when buying thin-skinned fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and tomatoes. This is because of their ability to retain pesticide residue even after washing them.

The reason behind exposing pesticide levels in produce was to raise awareness but the unintended consequence that followed was that consumers began buying fewer fruits and vegetables. Nutritionists have commented on this and stated that the simple precaution of washing and cooking is enough to remove pesticide residue from many kinds of produce. If you’re in the know about pesticides and their use on produce, test your knowledge with a short quiz provided by Health IQ.