Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered a side of vegetables with your meal, with the intention of making a healthy choice? You are not alone. We are told to eat healthy, to consume fruits and vegetables because they provide vital elements that nourish our bodies. Although this is undoubtedly true, most of the fruits and veggies are sprayed with pesticides. And in general, this is often overlooked; swept under the rug because, well, who likes to eat poison?
Before we go too far into this topic, we should keep an objective mind and consider that the reasoning behind pesticides may be one with good intentions. First, “pests” are mites, bacteria, fungi, weeds, insects, slugs, snails, mice… You get the idea. According to the CropLife Foundation, without the use of pesticides, US crops would be destroyed by these insects, fungi, bacteria, and weeds. So, in short, there may be a very good reason pesticides are used: the pests.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Scott Phillips, a health and wellness professional, and an expert in the healthy living lifestyle. “As a health care provider, I am seeing an increasing number of patients with physical symptoms and issues stemming directly from the quality of food they eat.” said Dr. Phillips. “One of the biggest problems in choosing good food is not just quality ingredients but knowing where food comes from and how it is handled. A well-meaning mom will buy produce at her local grocery store thinking that it will be a great source of nutrients for her family, but if she doesn’t know where the food came from and what it has been sprayed with, she jeopardizes the nutritional benefit and perhaps puts her family in harm’s way.”
A number of studies have recently brought to light the harmful effects pesticides have on us, and it’s not looking good. According to CNN Health, trace amounts of the organophosphates, a common pesticide used of fruit and vegetables has been linked to an increase in attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children. Pesticides have also been linked to breast cancer, weakened immune systems, and nervous system problems. It is becoming clear that pesticides are having a much further effect than their intended use. The bottom line: pesticides are designed to kill things. We can’t be too surprised to learn that they are killing us also.
Rinsing Isn’t Enough
Many of us rinse off our produce before eating it. Although this action is driven by good intentions, it is virtually pointless—rinsing does not clean the produce. When we rinse our fruits and vegetables in water, we simply aren’t doing enough. Food can be coated with petroleum, beeswax, wax, or resin, which hold the chemicals in and make your produce virtually waterproof. Some pesticides are manufactured to be waterproof and require no waxy overlay. So running produce under water does nothing, leaving the toxins right on our foods.
“If there was a way to wash away harmful materials and pesticides from our produce, then our good intentions would be realized.” said Dr. Phillips. “We would be feeding our kids and families exactly what we mean to: clean, healthy, untainted produce that will help our children live at optimal health and keep us all healthy now and well into the future.”
What Do We Do?
We seem to be resting on a double-edged sword. We need fruits and vegetables, but we need to avoid the toxins on them.
What are you doing to eat healthy while insuring your safety, and the safety of others?
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