So, we all know we should eat more fruit and veg and for those of us who are trying to eat as healthily as possible, eating good veg (dark, green, leafy) is an essential part of what we eat.
But we all know that fruits and veg don’t just magically appear on our plates, produced by the farming fairies; they are produced in farms (often large scale) and owing to the unpredictable nature of the climate and the need to produce consistent crop yields year in, year out, unless we buy organic, we are consuming fruits and vegetables that have been treated by pesticides. But which ones? Which pesticides are good/bad/indifferent? What are the effects of consuming them in small or large quantities?
The reality is that the best option is to avoid mass produced products and go for organic products, produced locally and in season. Eating this way makes sure you know the source of your foods and you maximise the nutrients in everything you eat – if everything you eat is produced within 20-30 miles, you know you can count on the freshness and the speed of field to fork in increased. You also make sure you are eating food that is produced the way nature intended and not chosen for you by some supermarket who has predefined the measure of attractiveness, destroying anything that doesn’t fit with its perception of beauty!
But….if you cannot afford to eat organic all of the time eating supermarket fruit and veg, produced with the use of pesticides is STILL better than not eating it all so no matter what the scare stories say, you should still aim to consume fresh fruit and vegetables every day.
So, if you want to make healthy choices what are the Top 10 Heroes and Villains of organic foods?
The good guys of fruit and veg, which can be bought from normal supermarkets as they are the least likely to be affected by pesticides are:
- Aubergine (eggplant)
- Sweet potatoes
And the bad guys who are most likely to be heavily treated and are best bought locally (where available), in season and organic are:
- Imported nectarines
- Green beans
Anyone else notice how all the stuff that is actually good for us such as kale, cabbage, berries etc are the very things that are the most likely to be treated?!
To sum up, don’t avoid eating fruit and veg – something is better than nothing – but when circumstances and funds allow try and eat organic, local and in season. You never know you may just come to realise that food grown that way is tastier, fresher and better for you!
EWG have produced a great guide to good and bad fruits and veggies, which, although US-centric is worth reading and bearing in mind when you next drop into Tesco (other supermarkets are available!!) EWG’s Guide to Pesticides™.