Did you know that our children are more susceptible to the health risks posed by pesticides because their internal organs are still developing, and because they eat and drink more than adults in relation to their total body weight?
Did you know pesticides can harm a developing child by blocking the absorption of important food nutrients, and that if a child’s excretory system is not fully developed, its body may be able to properly eliminate pesticides? How about that pesticide ingestion has been linked with endocrine disruption and increased risk of ADHD?
Given this, I really encourage parents to do what they reasonably can to reduce their childrenʼs exposure. The most common question I hear from clients in response is: “If I canʼt afford to buy all organic, is there any point in buying just some organic?”
The answer is a resounding “yes”. Certain fruits and veggies are either notoriously sprayed or so thin-skinned that all the washing in the world wonʼt signiﬁcantly reduce their pesticide content. Other types are less sprayed and contaminated, and a much safer choice in their “non-organic” form. Here is one of the “cheat sheets” I provide on a grocery tour. Take it to the store next time and see how you do. Some of these are much easier to ﬁnd organic than others, which may impact what you regularly stock at home. If your kids love grapes, for example, consider only buying when the organic are available or at minimum, reducing them to a “sometimes” fruit instead of a daily
12 Most Contaminated
Sweet Bell Peppers
(You should also avoid non-organic pears and cherries when you can)
12 Least Contaminated
Sweet Corn (Frozen)
Sweet Peas (Frozen)
(Others you donʼt need to worry as much about include: Watermelon, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and mushrooms).
If this post was of interest to you and youʼre wondering what other improvements you might be able to make at the grocery store, consider getting a friend or two together and joining me for a tour.
Happy clean shopping everyone!
Wendy McCallum, LLB, RHN, is passionate about providing busy parents with the tools & support they need to feed their families wholesome food, so everyone can play, learn, and feel better! She is a mother of two terrific HRM kids, both aged 7. For information and recipe ideas, visit her website.