by Elizabeth Janelli
Even if you don’t like them, everyone has to eat fruits or vegetables sooner or later. So there are a few things you should know about them, before you bite into that apple. Did you know that pesticides are on almost every single fruit or vegetable in the produce section of your local grocery store? And, if you ingest these pesticides, they can cause serious harm. So of the effects of pesticides are leukemia, brain cancer and, if you’re pregnant, your child could be born with defects.
Pesticides are very dangerous, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go meat only and completely give up on fruits and veggies. There are fifteen pieces of produce that you can eat with no worry whatsoever, as the pesticides don’t affect what you eat. The clean 15 are: mushrooms, eggplants, watermelons, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cantaloupe, sweet corn, sweet peas, mangoes, asparagus, kiwi, grapefruit, avocado, pineapple and onions. These fifteen fruits and vegetables can be eaten right after being picked up in a grocery store, no washing needed.
However, this is unfortunately not true for all produce products. The dirty dozen are the fruits and vegetables that you should definitely wash, and wash thoroughly before you eat them. These dangerous products are: apples, strawberries, blueberries, celery, cherries, nectarines, lettuce, bell peppers, grapes, peaches, spinach and potatoes. Many of the dirty dozen are things that kids eat almost every day, so be sure to clean your fruits before you chew them. For those of you who don’t remember everything they read, I would suggest writing down which fruits and vegetables are clean, and which are dirty. Or, you can be super safe and just wash everything before you stick in your mouth.
For those of you who love, love, love one or more of the items on the dirty dozen list, and are to lazy to wash your favorites before you eat them, why not grow them yourself? If you are growing your own strawberries, you are monitoring them and what you are using, so you know exactly what is going into your mouth. Now, growing your own fruits will take awhile, and your garden will require daily attention, but having healthy, homegrown fruits and vegetables will be a great reward for all your efforts.