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Food and Health, Part 5

Cherry tomatoDid you know that studies showed, in thirty-six market basket samples, potato chips had 207 residues of toxic pesticides and industrial chemicals?  But organic chips didn't.  Now I know why organic costs more--and why it's worth it!  

Unfortunately, many of us can't afford organic foods or we live in areas where they are not available.  Diet for a Poisoned Planet looks at non-organic commercial foods and lists them in three categories.  Green light foods are the safest.  Eat plenty of them.  Yellow light foods have higher levels of pesticides, but should still be eaten if organics are not available.  Red light listed foods should be replaced by organics.  Still, the worst vegetable foods are better for us than the worst animal foods.

Green light foods Steinman lists include:  Alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, asparagus, black eyed peas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, cranberry juice, dates, eggplants, figs, fruit cocktail, grapefruit, green peas, hazel nuts, lemons, lentils, lima beans, limes, navy beans, okra, onions, papayas, peaches, pears, pecans, pineapples and pineapple juice, pinto beans, radishes, red beans, sauerkraut, sesame seeds, snap green beans, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, tangerines, watercress, watermelons.

Some yellow light foods:  apple juice, applesauce, artichokes, avocados, bananas, beets, blackberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, cranberries, coleslaw, escarole, grape juice, grapefruit juice, iceberg lettuce, kale, kiwi, leeks, mushrooms, nectarines, frozen orange juice, oranges, pomegranates, potatoes, raspberries, canned spinach, string beans, swiss chard, bottled tomato juice, tomato sauce, canned or stewed tomatoes, turnips, winter squash.
 
And some red light ones:  apples, raw apricots, celery, cherries, collard greens, cucumbers, grapes, green peppers, dry roasted mixed nuts, peaches, dry roasted peanuts, pears, plums, raisins, fresh or frozen spinach, strawberries, summer squash, tomatoes.

Fortunately, many of these are so easy to grow, even in a confined space.


Peaches (canned in light/medium syrup)
Much safer than fresh peaches when it comes to pesticide residues, canned peaches had only forty-two chemical residues in thirty-six samples, including carbaryl and iprodione.  If I were going to eat peaches, I would choose the canned product (in a lead-free can) without hesitation; processing and peeling can markedly reduce pesticide contamination.  Fresh peaches are far more pesticide saturated.

--Diet for a Poisoned Planet, David Steinman, Thunder's Mouth Press, 2007




This post is part of our Food and Health lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:





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