Stone fruit like peaches and nectarines have the highest pesticide concentration in its conventionally grown form according to the Environmental Working Group. Over 90 percent of these fruits tested had pesticides on them, and 86 percent of the peaches the group tested had two or more pesticides on them. In the past, the FDA has cited the peach industry for illegal pesticide use. Because stone fruit is hard to scrub, it is a must on your organic grocery list.
Strawberries, the delicious summer bounty, if grown conventionally, are laden with pesticides. Almost 80 percent of the strawberries grown in the U.S. come from California, and, according to the Pesticide Action Network (PANNA), strawberries are the most densely-sprayed California crop. In 2006, the Network reported 9,222,870 pounds of a wide variety of pesticides were sprayed on strawberry crops. Because the fruit is porous and delicate to wash carefully, it is another important food to buy organic.
Rice is found in everything from baby food to snacks. The rice industry generates more than $1.5 billion annually in the United States. PANNA studies have found over forty pesticides used in rice production, fifteen of which are considered types that have ill effects on the human body or groundwater systems. In the last decade, the rice industry in California’s Sacramento Valley has seriously contaminated the local water system. Buying organic rice can help stem the tide.
Baby food, in its conventional form, is, of course, produced with conventional produce, which is often laden with pesticides. According to a National Academy of Sciences report, federal pesticide standards do to little to protect infants? health. Developing bodies, particularly the immune, neurological and hormonal systems, are more vulnerable to toxins and may absorb pesticides more easily.
Milk, from our mooing friends, can take a long and winding road from cow to glass. Conventional cows are often fed pesticide-laden crops including corn; as ruminants, they get sick when fed things other than grass, which they’re stomachs can properly digest. So they’re pumpep up with antibiotics, to keep them from getting ill, and are often injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to keep them pumping out the milk. Buying organic keeps those things out of the cows, and out of your glass. Plus, organic milk has been found to be healthier than conventional, including things like more omega 3 fatty acids.
Bananas are typically grown with one of the highest pesticide levels of all tropical crops. Herbicides, aerial spraying and other chemical methods all are utilized to make sure bananas show up in their Northern markets looking pretty. The conventional banana industry is not only bad for consumer health, banana plantation workers are renowned for being exposed to some of the worst working conditions. Workers unprotected from the array of banana pesticides have even successfully sued banana companies for their adverse effects. Buying organic keeps all these nasties at bay.
Green beans are treated with over 60 different kinds of pesticides. Often, these beans test with pesticide levels above the legal limits. Significant chemical components have even been found recently in frozen green beans from abroad.