Pesticides and Your Health

I recently was sent an article from my BFF, Shelley, titled The 7 Foods that Should Never Cross Your Lips. It runs down 7 foods that health professionals, farmers and others will not go near. Some I have heard before (like corn-fed beef) but others surprised me. For the full list, check out the article. Here are a few that caught my attention:

What the endocrinologist won’t eat: canned tomatoes
The problem is the resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A (BPA) a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food.

No canned tomatoes? Canned tomatoes are my saving grace when the kitchen is empty. You can make anything tasty with a can of tomatoes. The solution provided was to select tomatoes in glass jars. Or, apparently, Trader Joe’s has a boxed option. I will keep my eye out!

What the farm director won’t eat: nonorganic potatoes
The problem is that root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes—the nation’s most popular vegetable—they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.

Guess what the article said? Potato farmers don’t even eat the potatoes they sell! They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals. Scary!! The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.

All this pesticide talk really freaks me out. I am not very diligent about choosing organic produce – I am just happy we eat so many fruits and vegetables! What really worries me is the long term affects. Aaron and I plan to have kids one day, and I want to make sure we do all we can to have the healthiest little Aaron and Amanda’s running around one day.

While we are always trying to rein in our budget, I am going to try to focus on buying and eating the foods that are best for my health. I found this handy little list of the “cleanest” and “dirtiest” produce. You can also download an app for it on your iPhone. I will be referencing this when I make my shopping list to choose organic vs. conventional produce.

Some easy and immediate changes I will be making:
– Organic potatoes and apples: these are not much more $ than conventional, so that won’t be hard
– Hormone-free milk: I always grab the cheapest option. I don’t drink a lot of milk – just a little in my coffee and in green monsters. I will be choosing milk with labels that show rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones or organic milk.
– Search for tomatoes in jars or boxes. Another solution to this would be to can my own tomatoes, but that is a whole ‘nother post!


One thought on “Pesticides and Your Health

  1. I was SO surprised by the canned tomatoes also! I’m definitely going with hormone-free milk from now on, as I drink SO much of it. I’ve also made the change to organic cage-free eggs; they’re about $1.00 more but I think worth it when I think about how you can’t “rinse them off” – you’re ingesting all of the gunk that the chicken was fed or injected with.

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