When the Wicked Queen offered Snow White a poisoned apple, she had no idea it was the fruit most frequently contaminated by pesticide. That's what the Environmental Working Group's 2014 examination of pesticide in fruits and veggies revealed: 99 percent of apples had residue from at least one pesticide. And some other fruits (less frequently) registered residue from 13 or more!
Pesticides from produce plus garden and household products are linked to cancers, decreased cognitive function, ADHD and behavioral problems in children. But you can reduce exposure for your kids and yourself.
The EWG's list of the "Clean 15" highlights produce with the LEAST pesticide residue.
The fruits include: cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, papayas and pineapple. They offer fiber, potassium, vitamin C and folate. Plus, mangoes and papayas may help control blood sugar.
The veggies include: asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, corn, frozen sweet peas, onions and sweet potatoes. Asparagus delivers vitamin B-6, calcium, zinc and magnesium; avocados help stabilize blood sugar; cabbage and cauliflower (cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli) protect the heart, brain and digestive system; eggplant, including the skin, offers anti-inflammatory powers; corn is fiber-rich and packs folate, thiamin and phosphorus; peas dish up vitamins A, B-1, B-6, C and K; and sweet potatoes have 400 percent of your daily dose of vitamin A!
You can go organic for all produce, but it's not necessary. The benefits of nine servings of fruits and veggies daily far outweigh the risks of eating non-organic produce. And remember: Wash your produce well, including whatever you peel.
© King Features Syndicate