Friday, January 30, 2009

Yummy! Pesticides, slurp ;-)

In my ongoing craziness to find out far more information then is most likely good for me, I came across this site foodnews.org. They had this very helpful chart (see below) showing which "conventionally" grown fruits have the most pesticides in them. Peach and Pesticide Cobbler, anyone?

The Full List: 43 Fruits & Veggies

RANK

FRUIT OR VEGGIE

SCORE

1 (worst)

Peaches

100 (highest pesticide load)

2

Apples

96

3

Sweet Bell Peppers

86

4

Celery

85

5

Nectarines

84

6

Strawberries

83

7

Cherries

75

8

Lettuce

69

9

Grapes - Imported

68

10

Pears

65

11

Spinach

60

12

Potatoes

58

13

Carrots

57

14

Green Beans

55

15

Hot Peppers

53

16

Cucumbers

52

17

Raspberries

47

18

Plums

46

19

Oranges

46

20

Grapes-Domestic

46

21

Cauliflower

39

22

Tangerine

38

23

Mushrooms

37

24

Cantaloupe

34

25

Lemon

31

26

Honeydew Melon

31

27

Grapefruit

31

28

Winter Squash

31

29

Tomatoes

30

30

Sweet Potatoes

30

31

Watermelon

25

32

Blueberries

24

33

Papaya

21

34

Eggplant

19

35

Broccoli

18

36

Cabbage

17

37

Bananas

16

38

Kiwi

14

39

Asparagus

11

40

Sweet Peas-Frozen

11

41

Mango

9

42

Pineapples

7

43

Sweet Corn-Frozen

2

44

Avocado

1

45 (best)

Onions

1 (lowest pesticide load)

Note: We ranked a total of 44 different fruits and vegetables but grapes are listed twice because we looked at both domestic and imported samples.

Just another reason to stay local and organic when you can. Apples, my favorite and really the only Winter eating fruit, comes in as #2, so maybe soon I will be radioactive and glowing. I buy all my apples locally, and am told by the farmers that they do very little spraying and use green products when they do. This is the conundrum about buying local, when farmers don't have the money to pay for the organic certification. Apples that I have seen at the market that are local and organic look pretty bad; now I understand this is not just about looks, but I am sorry to say that sometimes I choose the non-organic local apples because I am a sucker for the better looking ones. It does tell you how much apples have changed in their look since they were first planted (mostly for hard cider) in this country. Apples that are just going to be pressed for juice can be as ugly as they want to be, but eating seems to be another issue. Just goes to show you that even when you are trying to eat healthy, locally, and sustainably you are still making choices as to how far you are actually willing to go. The bottom line for me is that I'd rather support a farmer who is local then some large corporate food producer in California or Chile.






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