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Healthy Produce = Healthy People
Drs. Neal and Nicole Barry

Summer is here and this is the best time of year to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from our local farms (or better yet, your backyard!).

While we all know that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest choice for us to eat, the use of pesticides and other chemicals on our produce is concerning. The EPA recently released a list of the most and least pesticide contaminated foods. If exposures to pesticides are great enough, many of these toxins "may cause harmful health effects, including delayed or altered development, cancer, lung damage, reproductive dysfunction, and possibly dysfunction of the hormone and immune systems," according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The dirty dozen includes:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Kale
  10. Cherries
  11. Potatoes
  12. Imported Grapes

For these fruits and vegetables, choose an organic variety.

Conversely, the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables, “Clean 15” include:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangos
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew Melon

As with all produce, organic or conventional, always wash and rinse to remove any harmful bacteria. A great alternative to the store bought produce wash is to mix up equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray, rinse and dry your produce when you bring it home, then store in the refrigerator.

A stunningly simple and telling example of the difference between organically grown food and conventionally grown food is portrayed in this child’s science experiment. Click on the video link to see her discovery on how chemicals can disrupt the natural processes of a plant:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exBEFCiWyW0

While we may not know 100% of what these chemical do to our bodies, I think that we can all agree that limiting our exposure is the best thing that we can do to protect our health.

A great way to stay educated on what you are eating is checking out your fruit and vegetables here: http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/. This website provides a list of commonly found toxins on fruits and veggies.

In This Issue:
Healthy Produce = Healthy People
Keeping Baby Safe this Summer
Put Another Shrimp on the Barbie?
Spicy Salsa

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