Avoiding Pesticides and Herbicides: Ten Foods You Absolutely Must Buy Organic
By now we have all heard about Monsanto and its anti-environmental, genetically-modified crops. And as horrible as Frankenfood is, what’s possibly even more dangerous about the agri-chem company is the wild overuse of its signature herbicideRoundup.
The main ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which the World Health Organization has listed as probably cancer-causing. And some forward-thinking countries like France have enacted partial bans on the use of the stuff (the EU actually just passed a resolution calling for a continent-wide ban, but that has a steep road to climb for full passage, through each member nation’s parliament) so progress is being made as more and more people become aware of the dangers.
And of course in tight economic times, its easy to justify choosing cheaper, non-organic fruits and vegetables in the grocery store. But keep in mind that one nasty, off-label trick non-organic farmers have learned about Roundup: if they heavily spray down their crops shortly before harvest, it hastens “dessication” or drying, which makes the crops easier to harvest. Grains and cereals are especially heavily treated with dessicants this way, meaning glyphosate is likely showing up in your non-organic bread and cereal and beer.
The truth is, no matter how you wash your non-organic fruits and vegetables, you are likely coming into contact with these cancer-causing agents. Keep in mind also that some plants absorb pesticides systemically, so no amount of washing will rid them of the poison.
But riding to the rescue is the non-profit Environmental Working Group, which compiles a list each year of fruits and vegetables they test for pesticides and herbicides, the results of which they use to compile their “Dirty Dozen” list of the fruits and vegetables that carry the most residue.
Another note on washing: the EWG tests the fruits and vegetables “as it is typically eaten,” meaning they test AFTER washing/peeling, etc.
With that in mind, here are a few fruits and vegetables you should always buy organic:
• Sweet bell peppers
Ideally we would all be buying organic all the time. But the cost of shopping healthy is high. The joke is: Whole Foods? How about “whole paycheck?”
The question then becomes how much is your and your family’s health really worth?