13 Foods Full of Pesticides – Avoid or Buy Organic

Many of the popular, conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are purchased by the public believing that they are making healthy choices. What people don’t realize is the fact that foods that are not grown organically are treated with potent pesticides and other poisons to speed up their growth, make them grow larger or prevent them from common pests. Below is the list of 15 widely available foods that are found to be heavily contaminated by pesticide and other chemical substances – as per tests conducted by EPA. Because of high contamination level, unless you can get organic versions of these foods, you should avoid them at all costs. Foods listed below don’t have a protective barrier and become thoroughly contaminated which means you’ll be absorbing these harmful substances even if you wash or peel them prior to consuming. To make matters worse, these foods are often treated with really heavy chemicals many of which could lead to serious health issues, including development of cancerous tumors:

1. Peaches

Peaches are treated with multiple pesticides which get soaked right in due to fruit’s delicate skin. Pesticide levels found in non organic peaches are always frighteningly high. Buying non organic peaches means eating all of those chemicals. If you can’t find organic peaches in your area, opt for safer alternatives that are much more resistant to pesticide penetration, such as bananas, watermelons or tangerines.

Peaches, Photo: I Nancy, Flickr

Peaches, Photo: I Nancy, Flickr

2. Apples

Apples are regularly and frequently treated with chemical poisons to kill insects, fungi and other pests. These chemicals penetrate apples through the skin all the way to the core so washing or peeling won’t help. Apples are full of powerful antioxidants and vitamins most of which are found in the skin or directly under it. Peeling your fruit will strip away most of the beneficial properties apples deliver. Organic apples are widely available and are often sold for price comparable to their pesticide stuffed, non organic versions.

Apple, Photo: Fir0002, Wikipedia

Apple, Photo: Fir0002, Wikipedia

3. Sweet Bell Peppers

Conventionally grown sweet bell peppers are frequently sprayed with heavy insecticides. Thin skin that covers these vegetables allows the pesticide the penetrate deeply into the tissue.

Sweet Bell Peppers, Photo: Kham Tran, Wikipedia

Sweet Bell Peppers, Photo: Kham Tran, Wikipedia

4. Celery

Conventional celery crops are always treated with pesticides but because no protective barrier exists on the surface of this vegetable, washing – regardless of how thorough cannot fully remove the harmful residue. Organic celery is widely available and often reasonably priced.

Celery, Photo: MAX 2006 - Max Nunziata "Wild photographer", Flickr

5. Nectarines

As many as 26 different pesticides are found on conventional nectarines after they have gone through laboratory examination. Many of these are harmful, often cancer promoting substances. Avoid non organic nectarines at all costs.

Nectarines, Photo: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

Nectarines, Photo: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

6. Strawberries

Use of pesticides on strawberries is somewhat regulated in western countries, but these either don’t exist or are not enforced in other countries that export this delicious fruit. Pesticide levels can be dangerously high and cannot be removed by washing. Look for organic strawberries instead.

Strawberry, Photo: David.Monniaux, Wikipedia

Strawberry, Photo: David.Monniaux, Wikipedia

7. Cherries

Thin skin covering cherries allows for deep penetration by heavy pesticides. US grown cherries often show higher levels of pesticides than imported ones. Buy organic or avoid.

Cherries, Photo: atomicshark, Flickr

Cherries, Photo: atomicshark, Flickr

8. Pears

Pests feeding off of pears have become resilient to many pesticides so fruit is sprayed with more and more chemicals year after year. Organic is the only way to go.

Pear, Photo: suttonhoo, Flickr

Pear, Photo: suttonhoo, Flickr

9. Grapes

Vineyards are sprayed with a variety of pesticides throughout the growth process. Grapes get contaminated right down to the core making the elimination of poisons impossible. Imported grapes are far worse than domestic ones.

Grapes, Photo: miuenski, Flickr

Grapes, Photo: miuenski, Flickr

10. Potatoes

Potatoes are sprayed with insecticides and grow in a soil regularly treated with fungicides. Exposure to many chemicals throughout the growth process suggests it’s safer to go with organic potatoes.

Potatoes, Photo: Scott Bauer, Wikipedia

Potatoes, Photo: Scott Bauer, Wikipedia

11. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens (spinach, lettuce) are sprayed with most potent pesticides used on food. Contamination is heavy and substances extremely harmful. Choose safer alternatives, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli or buy organic.

Romaine Lettuce, Photo: Rainer Zenz, Wikipedia

Romaine Lettuce, Photo: Rainer Zenz, Wikipedia

12. Carrots

Europe is in the process of banning the pesticides commonly used for treatment of carrots, onions and parsnips because of verifiably harmful effects. North America has not caught up to it yet so opt for safe, organic carrots instead.

Baby Carrots, Photo: ccharmon, Flickr

Baby Carrots, Photo: ccharmon, Flickr

13. Tomatoes

Tomatoes vary in pesticides levels. Sometimes they are high, sometimes low. Perhaps it has something to do with better pesticides developed in recent years, however I would still steer away from conventional ones and go for organic tomatoes since they are widely available and have become more affordable.

Tomato, Photo: Darwin Bell, Flickr

Tomato, Photo: Darwin Bell, Flickr

Any organic food will be safer for you and your family than its non organic, conventional version. On top of fruits and vegetables, try to stick with organic meat. Animals that are not grown according to organic standards are fed with crops full of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, they are injected with growth hormones to make them grow large fast and with antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick. The conditions in which these animals are raised are inhuman, often overcrowded and dirty. Organic meat often comes from free run animals that are not injected with chemicals and are fed with organically grown grains. To help your body stay healthy and cancer free, steer away from pesticide treated foods and buy organic. The cost of cancer treatment is far greater than extra bucks you may end up paying for organic versions of foods you eat every day. Is it really worth the risk?

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One Response to “13 Foods Full of Pesticides – Avoid or Buy Organic”

  1. Richard Khaw Says:

    list of foods to buy organic

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