Jun 28 2015

Minimize your Exposure to Pesticides in the Foods you Eat

Published by at 1:18 pm under Organic

Are Food Pesticides Wreaking Havoc on your Health?
Chances are your exposure is more dangerous than you think.  Discover a few simple steps you can take to minimize your exposure to pesticides in the foods you eat and in your environment.


Pesticides are toxic substances that we intentionally add to our environment to kill “pests” on crops, on our lawns, and in our homes, schools and places of employment. Just about everywhere there is some form of pesticide use.* 

Plants can’t run from their intruders. There are approximately 10,000 insects classified as pests that will destroy crops and livestock, as well as, transmit disease. At least 600 species of plants are classified as weeds which steal nutrients and water from crops. There are over 1,500 fungi that cause plant disease and many can kill a crop quickly. In an effort to produce profits and grow enough food to feed a growing population, farmers have turned to pesticides, insecticides and fungicides to keep their farms healthy and maintain their bottom line. 1*

 The problem is, pesticide residue is ingested when we eat fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed, and when we consume dairy and meat raised on pesticide treated grain and grass. It accumulates in our bodies, stored in our fat cells. Medical professionals are growing more and more concerned about the long term effects pesticide exposure is having on people’s health. “…There are hundreds of pesticides approved for use in the US and all of them present different risks. Some are linked with cancer. While others can cause birth defects or harm the nervous system. Some pesticides, including organophosphates, commonly used on crops—are known as endocrine disruptors, which means that they affect the body’s highly sensitive endocrine (hormone) system…” 2 *

And the scary part is that pesticides can be particularly harmful to children, whose brains, bodies, nervous and immune systems, as well as detoxifying mechanisms, are not completely developed yet, “…leaving them less capable of fighting the introduction of toxic pesticides into their systems…”3 Additionally,    “…Scientists from the University of Montreal and Harvard University released a study that found that exposure to pesticide residues on vegetables and fruits may double a child’s risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD, a condition that can cause inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in children…” 3 *

 More research from a July 2007 study conducted by researchers at the Public Health Institute, the California Department of Health Services, and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health found “…a six fold increase in risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) for children of women who were exposed to organochlorine pesticides…”3 *

 So what can be done? Pesticides are pervasive in our environment, so we have to take a proactive approach to avoid them.


Solution #1: Choose organic whenever possible.

 The most important food products to buy organic are animal products. These have the greatest pesticide load, as animals feed on pesticide treated grains and grass, which stores up in their fat cells. Secondly, if you have to pick and choose what you are going to buy organic, there is a list put out as a guideline by the Environmental Working Group regarding pesticides in produce. It is based on a 2013 USDA study which examined thousands of fruits and vegetable samples to identify some 165 different pesticides.4*

In order of importance, they have listed which foods tested highest for pesticide residue (the Dirty Dozen + two) and those that tested the least (The Clean 15).4


The Dirty Dozen + 2 ). “…Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and showed higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce items.4*

Apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, snap peas, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, hot peppers, kale and collard greens. 4*

 The “Clean Fifteen” “…These showed lower concentrations of pesticides when tested..4*

Asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, onions, Papayas, pineapples, sweet corn, sweet peas (frozen), and sweet potatioes. 4 *


Solution #2: Filter your water

Find a good water filtration system for your home and work. The water you use for drinking, cooking, showering, bathing and washing dishes is also likely to be contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins. Shower filters are a good idea too as toxins found in tap water, once heated and airborne in your shower, can affect your body through your skin and lungs.


Solution #3: Hire a professional

If you are going to treat your home, yard or workplace, hiring a professional to do the applications can help reduce the risk of over application, which leads to run-off entering our water supply. Professionals know exact measurements, and are trained to apply what is needed. Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a professional, use natural or organic alternatives as opposed to synthetic whenever possible. There are choices out there.


Solution #4: Clean your produce

A quick rinse with water on your produce does not solve the problem. We suggest one of these three methods to reduce pesticide residue.  1)  a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, 2) white vinegar and water, or 3) baking soda and water; are ideal ways to clean produce.


Solution #5: Clean your body from the inside out  

 A 2009 study done by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that eating fermented foods like kimchi in your diet may also be a wise strategy to help detox the pesticides that do enter your body. Why kimichi…because it is packed with Probiotics. Probiotics are a powerful way to boost your immune system, as well as, protect your body against foreign invaders as they eat away at the unwanted chemicals in your system. A simpler solution to help increase your friendly bacteria is to select a good Probiotic, such as, Body Biotics™ Bio- Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™, which mimics nature and works hard to provide the friendly bacteria which help clean up toxic pesticide waste from your body. *

 As you strive to clean up your food intake, remember to employ as many of these solutions as possible to assure greater health and long-term wellbeing for you and your family.

 Healthiest wishes,





  1. http://ipm.ncsu.edu/safety/factsheets/why.pdf
  2. http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/food_news_blog/do_you_need_to_buy_organic_the_bottom_line_on_how_bad_pesticides_are_for_you
  3. http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/pesticides
  4. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19199784

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