3 Quick facts on pesticides on food

October 5, 2015

If it isn’t organic, it’s likely that the fruit and vegetables you eat have been treated with pesticides. Some of these may gradually have a bad effect on your health so it’s worth knowing the facts. These tips will help you to reduce the negative impact pesticides can have on your body.

3 Quick facts on pesticides on food

1. Pesticides facts

In most developed countries, the use of pesticides is strictly regulated. What this means is their use is approved only if the levels of residues in resulting crops are a fraction of the level that is safe for lab animals. Keep the following points in mind too:

  • As new science emerges, however, the risk assessments of these chemicals are refined, and this has led to certain pesticides being banned or severely restricted.
  • To the best of scientists' knowledge, the pesticides in use today have a positive risk-benefit ratio (you gain more health benefit from eating the produce than health risk due to chemicals on it).
  • It's possible, though, that chemicals may have subtle effects that show up only after years of exposure, or that the cumulative effect of the many different pesticides in our food today may do more damage than we can know by studying them individually.

2. How you can avoid pesticide residue

You already know that produce form the supermarket often still has traces of pesticides in it. You can do the following to cut down on residue:

  • Rinsing produce before you eat it helps, but it doesn't remove all of the agricultural chemicals.
  • Peeling fruit such as apples eliminates some pesticides but strips away important nutrients, too.
  • You should generally eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables so you don't overeat any one food that may have high pesticide levels, and make sure you eat a healthy diet overall.
  • Consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts will give you plenty of nutrients that protect your body from cancer.

3. What to avoid

You can check out watch dog websites on the pesticide levels found on food. Most countries have organisations that monitor what’s on the market for the protection of consumers so have a look online. According to one watchdog, the following are examples of produce that record significant  pesticide residue levels

  • High levels: Peaches, onions, apples, avocados, green and coloured peppers, sweet corn,celery, pineapples, nectarines, mangos and strawberries.
  • Low levels: Sweet peas, cherries asparagus, lettuce, kiwi, grapes bananas, pears, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, potatoes and eggplant.

Always check the most recent updates on this where possible though.

Easy pesticide facts

Nobody likes the idea of consuming traces of pesticide when they bite into a juicy piece of fruit. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to avoid these toxins and reduce their impact on your health.


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