We think that we are eating well by including fresh vegetables and fruits in our diet. But are we really having healthy food? Most of these foods have a coat of pesticides sprayed on them during the growing process to keep pests at bay. Pesticides are chemicals sprayed on food products while they are growing by the farmers to keep bugs, fungi, and other pests from destroying and eating the produce and plants. Residual amount of these chemicals are present on the food when it gets to the grocery store. Exposure to large amount of these chemicals can be harmful.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30% of pesticides used for growing foods can be potentially harmful. Although in the developed countries like the US there are norms to regulate use of these chemicals sadly there are not enough norms in India and even if there are some regulations they are not followed.
The residual amount of pesticides on foods is usually small but it can accumulate in your body over time and increase the risk of several health problems significantly. This is especially a concern for young children as they are likely to be more sensitive to pesticides than adults and their food intake is more for their weight as compared to adults. Similarly in pregnant women they’re particularly dangerous as it can affect the growing fetus.
Some research shows that ingestion or pesticide exposure can cause:
Respiratory problems like asthma
Residual amount of pesticides are present on the food when it gets to you. If you eat the food product along skin it is going to have more pesticides. Peeling removes the pesticides but experts say that if a fruit can be eaten with peel ---do not remove the peel as it has a lot of fiber and other nutrients.
Some fruits and vegetables which generally have higher concentrations of pesticides are;
By contrast, fruits and vegetables with a lower concentration of pesticides include;
Many people wonder what can I do to limit my exposure to pesticides? This is especially important for children, pregnant women and women feeding a child.
Some experts say that consider organic foods. Organic foods are becoming increasingly popular and more and more local grocery stores and supermarkets have organic foods. People who indulge in organic foods consider it to be better for health. Organic foods are grown or raised without using any pesticides or harmful chemicals.
Other steps that can help to decrease the amount of pesticides on your food are;
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