The Environmental Working Group's Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Good news from the hardworking folks at the Environmental Working Group. They've just released their updated Shopper's Guide featuring the "dirty dozen" (produce to avoid because of the high pesticide amount used) and the "clean 15" list.
This guide is really valuable for parents trying to limit their families' pesticide intake. And we all have good reason to do this. According to the EWG:
"The growing consensus among scientists is that small doses of some pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood. Scientists now know enough about the long-term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides."
This information is especially important for expectant and nursing moms, and for families with young children. You can significantly decrease your families' exposure to pesticides by using this guide.
"EWG's computer analysis has found that consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80 percent by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating only the cleanest." 80 percent!
Why are pesticides so bad for children?
According to the EWG,
"Protecting our families' health from chemical exposures can start with minimizing children's exposure to pesticides. It is now well established that pesticides pose a risk to vital organ systems that continue to grow and mature from conception throughout infancy and childhood. Exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals during critical periods of development can have lasting adverse effects both in early development and later in life. The metabolism, physiology, and biochemistry of a fetus, infant or child are fundamentally different from those of adults; a young, organism is often less able to metabolize and inactivate toxic chemicals and can be much more vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides. The nervous system, brain, reproductive organs and endocrine (hormone) system can be permanently, if subtly, damaged by exposure to toxic substances in-utero or throughout early childhood that, at the same level, cause no measurable harm to adults. The developing brain and endocrine system are very sensitive, and low doses at a susceptible moment of development can cause more of an effect than high doses. It is especially important to reduce pesticide exposures of babies and young children so as to minimize these risks."
You can download this small handy guide and keep it in your purse for use at grocery store. You can read more about the study and data at EWG, including the full produce list. Thanks again, EWG! Your hard work is helping us all make safer choices for our families.