harmful fruit

Why Fruit Can Harm Your Health These Holidays

In several articles on this site I state that a key component to any healthy eating plan is to include lots of fruit. But the question is, can fruit really be bad for us considering all the chemicals and pesticides that are sprayed on most fruit we eat?

My intention in writing this is to just make us all more aware of what we buy and what we put into our bodies. You may disagree with this statement whole-heartedly but the healthy thing here is that we generate discussion on this topic…

I came across a scientific report lately on how many chemicals are actually found on apples…ready for this? Scientists have found over 189 chemicals to be found on apples by the time they arrive in the grocery store, and not all the chemicals are pesticides. We already know that many pesticides, even those stated as being organic are harmful to our health and have been linked with cancer.

Side note: just because a chemical is noted as being organic does not mean it is any safer for us or even greener for the environment. However, the important thing to notice is that most organic foods have found to have less pesticide residue than non-organic foods.

Nevertheless, there is also a class of chemicals called napthaleneacetmides which are used to help regulate the growth of fruit. The way they work is by allowing the plant to grow more fruit by limiting the amount of non-fruit growth like leaves and stems. In essence, more nutrients are driven to the fruit itself and allow plants to have larger and more plentiful fruit. Ok…so are they bad for our health?

The scary thing is that the World Health Organization has deemed naphthaleneacetamides as having “high acute toxicity” for humans. But the controversy arises because the Environmental Protection Agency has deemed them safe under controlled conditions since the chemical only its purest form is actually toxic. So we’re safe right?

The unfortunate fact is that there aren’t enough inspectors to continually monitor and check for safety of this and other chemicals in our fruit before they are shipped out. Does this cause as much concern to you as it does to me? I’d also like to know for a fact that organic farms do not use these type of synthetic hormones, that question should be asked by all of us.

Further to this, pesiticides are deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency when tested at small concentrations. But two other questions remain unanswered. What about the accumulation of these pesticides and chemicals in our body over time? Secondly, how do the different pesticides react chemically with each other in our bodies?

So what is the solution?

Well the solution is definitely not eliminating fruit from our diets! That would be completely missing the point of eating and living a healthy liftestyle.

What about washing our fruit differently? Department of agriculture recommends washing fruit rigorously under running water with a brush, or peeling fruit. Unfortunately peeling fruit can also lose some of the best nutrients and fiber away from fruits and vegetables.

If you can afford it buying organic or even local fruits and vegetables is best as they generally will have less chemicals and pesticide residues. You can also try sticking to a variety of fruits and vegetables so you can hopefully reduce your risk of exposure to a single pesticide.

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