Eat Fruits and Vegetables Without Pesticides

Consumer Reports revealed the risk associated with pesticides in 59 fruits and vegetables, considering their fresh, canned, dehydrated, or frozen versions in some cases.

To do so, it analyzed data collected over seven years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which annually tests various organic and conventional agricultural products grown in the United States and imported.

The goal was to detect pesticide residues. The results showed that 20% of the food had pesticides.

Abasto spoke with Catherine Roberts, associate health editor at Consumer Reports, who discussed the analysis and results.

Chemicals vs. pesticides

The world is a whole of chemicals, but some are natural, such as water, and others are human-made, such as chlorine.

Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill, eliminate, or eliminate pests, insects, fungi, and weeds.

“There is a wide variety of different types of pesticides that the USDA has found,” Roberts said.

Pesticide presence

Some categories of pesticides have been eliminated because they caused so many problems, such as animal death, between the 1960s and 1970s.

“Organic does not mean no pesticides are used,” Roberts clarified.

The National Organic Program in the U.S. has a list that indicates which ones are allowed. It generally excludes synthetic pesticides but allows those that are plant-based.

Related Article: How Retailers Can Benefit From the Rapid Increase in Sales of Natural/Organic Products

The results

Consumer Reports recommends choosing lower-risk pesticide products to reduce pesticide exposure.

The risk levels correspond to the number of servings a child approximately four years old could safely consume daily. This is approximately two-thirds of an adult serving.

When possible, he suggests opting for organic products.

“The point of this is not to stop people from eating fruits and vegetables. The message we want people to take away is that there are some unfortunate risks associated with these, thanks to the presence of pesticides,” Roberts explained.

“The good news from this report is that most of the items we looked at were low risk. There are a lot of good options out there and you can eat a wide variety.”

Fruit/VegetableRisk LevelRecommendation
KaleHighEat sporadically and choose the organic version.
BlueberriesLowThe organic version has an even lower pesticide risk.
WatermelonHighEat sporadically and choose the organic version.