An apple a day might have kept the doctor away prior to the industrialization of food growing and preparation. Unless it’s a pesticide-free apple, not only is today’s apple not sufficient to keep the doctor away, it is more likely to keep the doctor on call. According to research compiled by the United States Drug Administration (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service, Pesticide Data Program, today’s apple contains residue of many toxic chemicals used during the growing process.
In only one category of chemicals, known as organophosphate insecticides, this federal government agency found residue of many different neurotoxins (chemicals proven to harm the brain and/or nervous system in humans). They include: azinophos, methyl chloripyrofos, diazinon, dimethoate, ethion, omethioate, parathion, parathion methyl, phosalone, and phosmet. Doesn’t make that apple sound too appetizing does it?
You may be thinking, “Well, in minute amounts maybe pesticides are okay.” Think again. There’s a newer understanding of toxicology referred to as “the dose doesn’t make the poison.” In other words, some toxins are MORE HARMFUL IN SMALLER DOSES, particularly when it comes to endocrine disruptors (read hormone hell!). Scary but true. And, if that wasn’t the case, the average apple is still sprayed with pesticides seventeen times before it is harvested. And, it’s really no different than most fruits and vegetables.
A study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified more than 55 pesticides that can leave cancer-causing residues in food. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, the use of pesticides has risen more than tenfold since the 1940s. Currently, over 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are used in agriculture every year in the United States alone.
Keep reading to learn how you can reduce your pesticide exposure…