Nutrition Wednesday: Pesticides

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Pesticides - how bad are they?

Are pesticides actually working? They are used to prevent bugs from consuming all of our crops, yet tons of our crops are lost each year to bugs anyway. Well whether they are or aren’t, they are still being used. Here’s the scoop on pesticides:

  • Small amounts of pesticides on foods that we eat will likely have no serious risks to us
  • They are risky for children and infants to consume and can cause major problems (buy them organic fruits and veggies or wash the produce thoroughly)
  • Eat different types of fruits and veggies
  • Pesticides accumulate in animal’s fat, so don’t eat the fat on meat or the skin on chicken, turkey, or fish
  • Make sure your fruits and veggies have perfect skins
  • Rinse off fruits and veggies in warm water and scrub them with a brush (I need to work on this one)
  • Don’t bite into peels of fruits (like oranges) – they don’t taste good anyway
  • Don’t eat the outer layer of lettuce – kind of common sense because the outer layer usually looks dirty ick!
  • Get rid of wax skins on produce
  • Peel other produce – but note that their peels contain a lot of their nutrients and fiber (so I probably won’t do this)

If you have high concerns about regular produce and think you need to buy organic, I get it. Food labeled organic has to pass inspections and contains no to little pesticides. This cannot be said of regular produce or produce labelled natural or local. On the other hand, regular produce’s pesticide residue is such a small risk that buying organic should not be mandatory. If you can afford to and it eases your mind then go ahead and buy organic.

Is it worth it to buy organic?

Do you buy certain produce from the organic section?

Please note that I am *not* a nutritionist or nutrition expert, this is information based on my own knowledge and experience that I took away from the book Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies by Sizer and Whitney. Please consult a doctor before starting any nutrition routine, taking any supplements, or prescribing to any diet. 

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