Fruits and Veggies – The Good, The Bad, The Worst

Not all fruits and veggies are good for you. Here’s how to know…

Green BeensFruits and veggies are good for you, right?

It depends.

In modern agriculture, there’s a lot more than mother nature to consider. Just because something comes out of the ground or is picked off of a tree or plant, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Here’s what I mean…

Modern farming uses many techniques that are far from natural. Some are more or less benign. For example, it probably doesn’t make much difference for food quality if something is harvested by hand or by a machine.

But other practices are more of a problem. Among them are the application of chemicals to plants and trees. In addition, some fruits and veggies are ‘treated’ after picking to preserve them.

And if you consider genetically modified plants, the problems increase.

How can you tell the safe from the unsafe foods? There are two ways.

First, if you always buy organically grown produce, you’re pretty safe. That’s the no-brainer, easy way to be sure.

But if the budget is tight, then you’ll want to be selective about which produce you buy that’s organic. Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out a list every year that lets you know whats good… and what’s bad.

You might think that the list wouldn’t change much from year to year. And you’d be mostly right. But things do change. For example, the list for 2016 shows strawberries are at the top of the worst list. For the past 5 years, apples were at the top of that list. Here’s the rundown on why conventionally grown strawberries are a problem.

Others among the top 10 include apples (#2), nectarines (#3) and peaches (#4). You can see the full list of worst produce on the EWG website. These are foods you should strongly consider only eating organic.

But what about the best fruits and veggies? EWG has a list for that as well. The very best (i.e. least harmful) is avocados. Sweet corn (non-GMO), pineapples and cabbage come in at #2-4. The full best list for produce is here.

So the answer to which produce you can safely eat depends on how much you want to avoid toxic chemicals and GMO foods. At the very least, consider eating the “dirty dozen” items of produce (the worst of them) only when you can eat them organically grown.

All the best for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

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