Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for last week of year 2010

Hope everybody is enjoying their holidays.  This week’s health tip is to answer the following question:

  • Are all vegetables the same?

There’s little doubt that one of the best ways to improve your health is to make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh, minimally processed high quality vegetables, ideally locally-grown and organic, with a majority of them consumed raw.

Many of my clients asked me whether all vegetables are the same.  They are not the same. If you were to get all of your vegetables from conventionally farmed sources, this would be better for your health than eating no fresh vegetables at all. However, conventionally farmed vegetables are not your best choice. Organic vegetables are a much better option because of quality, nutrients and standards of growing them.

USDA Organic farmers (and many small, local organic farms working without certification), must use different standards when growing vegetables. These standards include never using:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic, and most are damaging to your nervous system as well. In fact, these powerful and dangerous chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems such as:

  • Neurotoxicity
  • Disruption of your endocrine system
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Immune system suppression
  • Male infertility and reduced reproductive function
  • Miscarriages
  • Parkinson’s disease

Buying your vegetables from a local organic source is the ideal way to ensure that your vegetables are both fresh and high-quality. Organic vegetables and fruits are far more nutritious than conventionally farmed vegetables.  I also advise you to avoid wilted vegetables of any kind, because when vegetables wilt they loose much of their nutritional value. In fact, wilted organic vegetables may actually be less healthy than fresh conventionally farmed vegetables!

If you need to work within a certain budget, use the following information to help guide you to the best choices when it comes to lowering your overall pesticide exposure.

Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the Environmental Working Group and included in their Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce, these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

In contrast, these foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onion

 

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December 27, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. USDA standards (set by the NOSB) do allow the use of pesticides in certified organic produce. Applications can contain only natural active ingredients or synthetics from an approved list.

    http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/pp/resourceguide/appendix/appendix_e.php

    The law may be changing but will be phased into enforcement.

    Comment by Max Prokopy | January 11, 2011 | Reply

    • Really….?!!!!! Wow. Thanks for letting us know. This is not good. Did you know the government is passing a bill to ban organic food? I think it already passed by the congress. This really sucks.

      Comment by coachfong | January 12, 2011 | Reply


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