Avoid Pesticides in Your Produce

Top 10 Foods to Eat Organic

Much of the food that we consume on a daily basis contains pesticide residues. While the FDA has regulations over the safe amount of pesticide content in any food, the levels are particularly worrisome in certain produce. While the consumption of these foods has been shown to have no adverse affects in the short term, it has been shown that high levels of these toxins found in the body over time can cause all sorts of illness and disease.

While striving to eat organic is always something important, it is often difficult, inconvenient; and can become quite costly. Because not everyone can afford to go the 100% organic route every time they shop, there are certain foods that experts say are more important to eat organic than others. This is because they have high levels of pesticide residues even after being washed and readied for consumption. In fact, their toxin content is so high that nutrition experts recommend only eating these foods when and if they can be purchased organic.

Below is a list of the top 10 offenders, some of the nasty toxins they contain, and ideal alternatives when organic can’t be found.


Main Nutrient: Vitamin C

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: Strawberries have high levels of fungicides, some of which are classified by the EPA as probable human carcinogens. They are also frequently contaminated with endosulfan, a chemical that interferes with normal hormone function by imitating the hormone estrogen.

Healthy Alternatives: oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit, watermelon


Main Nutrient: Iron, Vitamins A and C

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: Because spinach is often grown in mediocre growing conditions, the crops are more susceptible to insect damage and mildew. To prevent these problems from ruining their harvests farmers use high amounts of pesticides and fungicides. As a result spinach is exceptionally high in DDT, permethrin, chlorthalonil and other cancer causing pesticides.

Healthy Alternatives: kale, swiss chard, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus


Main Nutrient: Vitamins A and C

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: This fruit has a heavy dose of the cancer causing fungicides captan and iprodione, and the neurotoxic pesticide methyl parathion, which are used to combat insects.

Healthy Alternatives: nectarines, watermelon, tangerines, oranges, grapefruit


Main Nutrient: Vitamin C

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: To keep apples so pretty and shiny as we have come to see them in the grocery store, it takes a lot of pesticides, fungicides and petroleum oil. Common pesticide residues found on apples, are Chlorpyrifos, Diphenylamine, Captan, Carbendazim and Thiabendazole.

Healthy Alternatives: watermelon, nectarines, bananas, tangerines


Main Nutrient: Vitamin A, Potassium

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: Similar to apples, in order to have aesthetically pleasing pears great deals of insecticides need to be used. Common pesticides found on your average pear include: Carbendazim, Chlormequat, Dithiocarbamates, Tolylfluanid, Captan.

Healthy Alternatives: canned pears, canned peaches, oranges


Main Nutrient: Carotenoids

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: As celery is primarily made up of water, it is no wonder that it absorbs anything and everything around it; this includes toxins and water found in the soil around it. As a result it is a major source of exposure to neurotoxic pesticides and the probable human carcinogen, chlorthalonil.

Healthy Alternatives: carrots, broccoli, radishes, romaine lettuce


Main nutrient: Vitamin C

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: Raspberries are ideal meal sources and infestation places for many bugs, and raspberry bushes are also prone to mildew build-up. Thus farmers use a variety of pesticides and fungicides to kill these pests, as well as synthetic fertilizers to grow larger berries.

Healthy Alternatives: kiwi, orange, cantaloupe

Green Beans

Main Nutrient: Potassium, Carotenoids

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: This vegetable often contains large amounts of Acephate, Benomyl, Chlorothalonil, and Methamidophos, all of which are pesticides known to contribute to brain and nervous system damages, and even thought to potentially cause birth defects if large quantities are consumed.

Healthy Alternatives: green peas, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, potatoes, asparagus

Cherries (US)

Main Nutrient: Vitamin C

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: This fruit is susceptible to many viruses and fungal diseases and is a great favorite for hangout places among insects. Thus cherry orchards are often sprayed repeatedly with pesticides and horticultural oils to protect the crop.

Healthy Alternatives: oranges, kiwi, grapefruit, cantaloupe, or eat imported cherries which contain significantly less toxins

Bell Peppers

Main Nutrient: Green Peppers-Vitamin C; Red Peppers-Vitamin A & Carotenoids

Pesticide Residues These Often Contain: These vegetables are heavily contaminated with neurotoxic insecticides. Bell peppers are typically treated with insecticides two to six times during their growth cycle, as well as sprayed with herbicides, fungicides, fumigants, nematicides and algaecides. Conventional bell pepper growers often fumigate their fields with methyl bromide before planting to kill weeds and insects.

Healthy Alternatives: green peas, broccoli, romaine, lettuce, carrots

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