The Poisoned Apple

Then the Queen went to a secret chamber and concocted a poisoned apple. On the outside it looked delicious, but inside it was deadly. The Queen disguised herself as a farmer’s wife, returned to the dwarfs’ cottage, and knocked on the door.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The poisoned apple looked delicious, rosy red and shinny. It was crispy and tasty. There was a danger in the beautiful apple that sight, smell and taste could not detect. One tasty bite proved to be a death sleep for Snow White. Our children are like Snow White, eating tasty, poisonous fruit…every day.

An apple a day, may not necessarily keep the doctor away…unless it’s organic. Apples are on the top of the recent most-contaminated produce with pesticides list. A report published today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public health advocacy group was the topic in a recent USA Today news report.

Even after the fruits were washed and peeled, apples were found to have a high amount of pesticide residue. This is not good news for moms who do their best to offer whole foods to their families. The report analyzed government data on 53 fruits and vegetables. They identified the produce having the most and least pesticides after washing and peeling. For produce found to be highest in pesticides, the group recommends buying organic.

Nicole is getting ready to take a big bite from this juicy organic apple.

Pesticides were measured in six different ways to calculate overall scores:
• Percentage of samples tested with detectable pesticides.
• Percentage of samples with two or more pesticides.
• Average number of pesticides found on a single sample.
• Average amount (level in parts per million) of all pesticides found.
• Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample.
• Total number of pesticides found on the commodity.

The top dirty produce spot was previously held by celery. They think that more pesticides and fungicides are now being applied to apples after the harvest so the fruit can have a longer shelf life. Pesticides are toxic to the nervous system, can cause cancer, disrupt hormones and cause brain damage in children. Pregnant women are advised to avoid foods containing pesticides. Rankings reflect the amounts of chemicals present on food when it is eaten. Most samples were washed and peeled before testing. Washing with a “produce wash” is unlikely to help remove pesticides because they’re taken up by the entire plant and reside on more than just the skin, the report says.

The Dirty Dozen

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens

There is a glimmer of good news. When you choose fruit and vegetables from the clean list, most people can lower the volume of pesticides they consume daily by 92 percent, the report says.

Fewer than 10 percent of pineapple, mango and avocado samples showed pesticides. For vegetables, asparagus, corn and onions had no detectable residue on 90 percent or more of samples. You’ll notice that all, but the last mushrooms, have an outer covering that is removed and thrown away before it’s eaten.

The Clean 15

1. Onions
2. Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

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