Health Hazard: Pesticides Residue in Fruits and Vegetables! Here What You Should Do

July 26, 2009

So, you’re eating all the right foods, and it shows. You’re at a healthy weight because you eat all kinds of fruits and vegetables every day. That’s great. But there’s a hidden danger that most people don’t ever think about when they purchase their produce: pesticides.


Scientists are increasingly in agreement that even small exposure to pesticides can cause lasting health damage. This is especially true for those just beginning their lives in early childhood, and even the fetal stage.

Most of us are either ignorant to, or take pesticides for granted. But stop and think about it. Pesticides are made and dispersed for the sole purpose of killing living organisms! Doesn’t it logically follow, since we are living organisms, that there may be some inherent risks to humans?

One of the problems that keeps the dangers of pesticides swept under the rug is that most research done for regulatory purposes only examines the risks associated with large doses of pesticides, ignoring the smaller but still dangerous exposure.

It’s not enough to eat your fruits and veggies. You need to be aware of the dangers of pesticides and how you can best minimize your exposure to them.

So, what risks do you face with pesticides? They include:

– Digestive problems
– Damage to the nervous system
– Carcinogenic risks
– Damage to the hormone systems
– Skin, eye, and lung irritation

According to the Environmental Working Group, nearly all of the studies used to create lists of safe and unsafe produce assume that people rinse or peel their produce. But you are still at risk. Rinsing reduces pesticides, but does not eliminate them. Peeling also helps. But when you do so, you are removing important nutrients found in the skin.

According to Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., toxic chemicals can have a direct negative impact on our digestive system, including damage to the lining of the GI tract and direct interference of proper digestion. Dr. Anderson also points out that toxins can aid in creating antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria, which contributes to dysbiosis, or bacterial overgrowth, a condition that can cause nausea, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Dr. Marion Moses, M.D., founder of the Pesticide Education Center in San Francisco, California, contends that the Environmental Protection Agency has not tested all the ingredients in pesticides and does not require companies to disclose all ingredients.

So, what can you do to reduce your exposure to pesticides? The best thing you can do is rinse well all produce with filtered water and buy organic food when possible. Here’s a food safety list assembled by the Environmental Working Group that you can keep handy when you go grocery shopping:


1. Peach
2. Apple
3. Bell Pepper
4. Celery
5. Nectarine
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Kale
9. Lettuce
10. Grapes (Imported)
11. Carrot
12. Pear


1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet Peas
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomato
15. Sweet Potato

2 Responses

  1. I was recently in a heated discussion with an associate who said that there is no research that proves organic produce has fewer pesticides than conventional produce. This would seem to be obvious but his position is that if you are going to claim something you should have the science to back it up. Are you aware of any comparative studies showing the difference in pesticide residue between organic and conventional produce?

  2. Dear Jody! I love heated discussions while eating my lunch of organic salad and grilled organic chicken. Well, I found the study published in N.Y. Times on 5/8/2002, which proves that organic produce has least amount of pesticide residue on them. The Agriculture Department data showed that conventionally grown foods were 6 times as likely to contain multiple pesticide residues vs organic.
    Here is the link to this : study I hope this will help to solve the difference of opinions. Research Loving Galina

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