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Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

You know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you, so what’s stopping you from actually including them into your daily meals instead of the processed junk that you usually eat? Is it the fear of pesticides? If it is, or if it wasn’t before, but it is now that I’ve mentioned it, have you looked at the list of ingredients in the food you cram into your mouth? I’ll bet that list is a nutritionist’s nightmare of unpronounceable chemicals.

But what about organics, you may ask? Naturally (no pun intended), organic fruits and vegetables are great, but that’s only if your family can afford them on a regular basis because oh my gosh are they expensive. What’s a person to do if their family can’t afford organic fruits and vegetables? Do they go without, or take a chance on pesticide-laden produce? The takeaway from this is that no matter what pesticides are used on fruits and vegetables for sale in the U.S., fruits and vegetables are still darn good for you.

An article on The Washington Post’s website titled, “A diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweighs the risks of pesticides,” reveals that people may not be buying fruits and vegetables because of this fear of pesticides. This is a major problem. Fruits and vegetables don’t have many calories, but are full of vitamins and antioxidants. They’re just plain healthy and the benefit of eating them far outweighs the fear of pesticide residue.

There are lists that define the “dirtiest” and “cleanest” fruits and vegetables, and you can find links to those lists in the Washington Post article. However, something that’s not mentioned on those lists is that, while a particular fruit or vegetable might have a higher concentration of pesticide residue, that concentration is still small and has little potential for harm. Furthermore, a smaller concentration of a particularly bad pesticide could be worse than a large concentration of a relatively harmless pesticide. Again, any food sold in the U.S. is thoroughly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being safe to eat. There is no reason to avoid any produce and, in fact, the reverse is true. People should eat more fruits and vegetables!

Particularly disturbing is that one piece of misinformation (e.g., strawberries are dangerous) causes people, especially those with low incomes, to avoid any fruit altogether. Sort of a guilt by association. They key message should be clear: Everyone’s diet, regardless of income, should be full of fruits and vegetables whether conventionally grown or organic.