News about fruit with highest pesticide residue should put the wind up all of us.
There are ostriches who pretend that all is well in the state of Denmark even when deep down they know it isn't. And then there are those who really do not want to die of some awful auto-immune disease or cancer; and are prepared to ring in a few changes.
Pesticide residues come from numerous different sources. Some are actually put in the soil to kill weeds. Others are sprayed on the leaves to keep the bugs away.
Others are actually sprayed onto the food after it has been packed to keep mould at bay.
And some are sprayed on the plant to kill it just before harvesting; like Paraquat is used to dry off the haulm of potatoes. Pesticide residues remain in the fruit and veg.
Clearly the fruit with the highest pesticide residue in California may be quite different to that in the Midlands of South Africa where I live.
It may seem neurotic but it's best to assume that all fruit and vegetables from the grocery store will have some residues of an ecocide. Particularly worrying is that the Environmental Working Group is finding that residues of many chemicals long banned are still being found on common foods that they examine.
Topping their list of the "Dirty Dozen" lie strawberries and spinach. Neither surprise me since they are extremely nutritious and healthy foods; and the bugs know it. In your region of the world it could well be some other favourite.
Doing your best to avoid all vegetables and fruit with the highest pesticide residues is like walking a tightrope.
On the one extreme is the orthorexic; the person who is so terrified that he or she will refuse to eat out even with friends and family because of potential poisoning by pesticide residues.
Then there is the great multitude who couldn't care less; they are in the majority. Only other people get cancer.
In between is a relatively small group of people who are doing their level best to avoid all vegetables and fruit with the highest pesticide residues. None of us wants to die of cancer but these folk are actually willing to look for alternatives to food having traces of toxic chemicals.
One good place to start is buying organic vegetables and fruit; they are less likely to have the highest pesticide residues.
However it's a deceitful and lying world; and the word "organic" has become meaningless unless you personally know the farmer.
The snail and the grasshopper are the housewife's tasters; they confirm that the spinach has no pesticide residues. Avoid those in the grocery store that are picture-perfect.
The PYO movement is growing yet it remains a tiny minority. Could you go to the farm for a picnic and lift some potatoes? Then you could see for yourself if the haulm has just been sprayed with Paraquat or Roundup; or pick your own strawberries.
Much to our surprise we have found that we can grow our own organic vegetables and fruit year round, absolutely certain that they have zero pesticide residues. Right now in early spring there are delicious mulberries.
In a few weeks the blueberries will start and continue for several months.
Kale, peppers and green beans we also enjoy year-round; all three are on the dirty dozen list.
Pole beans straight from the garden are a great favourite; they are not difficult to grow.
We should be willing to pay more for organic vegetables and fruit free from pesticide residues. Weeding is time-consuming and the crop is likely to be smaller.
The greatest cost in our green garden is the sweat on one's brow; it is hard physical work but so rewarding. It beats going to the gym any and every day.
For those who have made the decision to do their level best to avoid vegetables and fruit with highest pesticide residues, the time spent is gladly given. They are absolutely certain that in comparison to the hours spent in doctors' consulting rooms, lying in hospital and collecting medication from the pharmacy they have chosen the better, if less well-trod road.
Fruit with highest pesticide residue is for those who want to die healthy in their own beds; just wake up dead one morning. Those watching the Blue Zones series on Netflix will soon realise this is not a vain pipe-dream; you make it happen but putting time and energy into your life.
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