Does an apple a day keeps the doctor away, or? I understand all about the benefits of antioxidants interacting with free radicals. Sort of. But I still want to know how fruits and vegetables are encouraged by health professionals and nutrition experts without any mention of pesticides and carcinogens. It needs to get as much attention as fat, sugar, salt, and calories. More perhaps.
Apples, for example, are the second-most contaminated fruit on the “Dirty Dozen List” (most contaminated were peaches. ) More than 82% of apples tested had been contaminated with at least two pesticides. Some samples contained nine different pesticides. All in all, 50 different pesticides were found in the apple sampled.
Other fruits and vegetables with too much pesticide residue listed on top of the “Dirty Dozen List” are spinach, lettuce, green beans, winter squashes, peaches, pears, grapes, and cherries. All items the food pyramid shows that I should consume 4-5 servings of each day.
Clearly, there are enormous health benefits that comes from eating fruit and vegetables. Some of the pesticide residue may be reduced by washing and peeling them. But we need to arm ourselves with more facts and less fiction about what it is good for us. We need to be better informed in order to make healthy choices about what type of fruit and vegetables we digest and how they need to be prepared.
Do I think apples caused my breast cancer? No, I don’t.
But I now believe it is as important to count carcinogens as it is to count calories. You never know when and where all those pesticides digested during a life time will come back to haunt you.