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Hold the Pesticides, Please

K. Drew

Although most Americans know about the presence of pesticides on conventionally grown produce, few people actually purchase organic alternatives. Organic produce is typically more expensive than regular fruits and vegetables, and it can also be harder to find. If circumstances limit you from buying organic produce, there are still ways to reduce the amount of pesticides on your fruit. By simply choosing the right types of fruit, you can drastically cut down on the amount of pesticide residues that you feed your family.

Bananas

These tropical fruits have some of the smallest concentrations of pesticide residue of all non-organic fruits. Bananas are great fruits to eat on the go and they are some of the least expensive fresh fruits available. They are packed full of essential nutrients like potassium, and they are also great sources of fiber.

Kiwis

Kiwis also contain relatively low levels of pesticide residue. Tropical fruits typically get sprayed less than other fruits, so as a rule they harbor less pesticide residue.

Melons

Melons are nutrient rich fruits that also rank low on the pesticide list. Honeydew melons, cantaloupe, and watermelon are all healthy fruits that offer a host of nutritional benefits. Among these melons, watermelon generally has the least amount of pesticide residue. However, consumers should still wash these fruits before cutting to prevent bacteria from being transmitted from the outside of the rind into the flesh of the fruit.

Oranges

Technically, conventionally grown oranges have slightly higher levels of pesticide residue than some other fruits, but the majority of these chemicals are limited to the peel of the fruit.  That means that if you are only eating the flesh, the fruit will be relatively pesticide free. However, some recipes call for consumers to grate an orange peel into the ingredients. In cases like this, an organic alternative should be used.

Blueberries

There seems to be an exception to every rule, and such is the case with blueberries. Most non-organic berries such as strawberries and raspberries have very high levels of chemical reside, but blueberries do not. They are known as "super foods" not only because they taste great, but they also contain the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruits. Although they are relatively pesticide free, consumers should still thoroughly wash blueberries before eating.

In a nation of chemically treated and modified foods, it can be hard to find pesticide-free fruits without buying organic. Although most of these five fruits are in season during the summer months, consumers can take advantage of their nutritional benefits throughout the year by freezing them. When organic fruits are hard to find or your budget does not allow for such an expense, compromise by purchasing these fruits that are low in pesticide residues.


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