OK so here's a contentious issue - should we be worried about the pesticides on/in our foods? Do they harm us or they perfectly harmless and a valuable addition to modern farming?
Well, I've had a look into the subject and am sincerely of the opinion that we should avoid them where at all possible.If you have the time or the inclination a great book to read (especially for you Lucy) is Detoxify Or Die, By Sherry Rogers who is an American MD.
Not to go into too much detail here and now, but, some scientists are of the view that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health. Sherry Rogers goes on to say in her book that because the body doesn't know what to do with these 'foreign substances' they are held in the soft tissue, and that's where they start to accumulate and do damage(particularly in the breat and prostate area).
Damage can occur especially during foetal development and early childhood, so these are specific times to really watch what you're eating and what you are feeding your little cherubs (if you have any choice over what they'll put in their mouths!).
Scientists have enough knowledge on the subject now to know about the long term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides.
But how do we do that?
The government advises we eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and really this is the minimum amount; far better to double it!
However, if we're not careful the very foods we eat thinking they're good for us are the ones that contain the greatest amounts of pesticides! Dilemma! So below is a table taken from www.foodnews.org that lists the Dirty Dozen - IE those containing the highest levels of nasties, so aim to buy organic, and the Clean 15, those that are lowest in pesticides and can be bought and eaten non organic.
DIRTY DOZEN :
CLEAN 15 :
Research by the Environmental Working Group has found that people who eat five fruit and veg a day from the Dirty Dozen list consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat from the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily.
By the way, rinsing food does help to reduce pesticides but doesn't eliminate them totally; peeling can help too but then valuable nutrients can be lost with the skin.
The best approach : eat a varied diet, rinse all produce and buy organic where possible particularly from the Dirty Dozen list.
Hope that was useful. Bit tricky to get organic blueberries and strawberries in Wetherby!?