If you care about the food you eat then it is likely you will have heard of the “dirty dozen”, a list of the fruits and vegetables that contain the highest number of pesticide residue on them. The result of having all this residue means that you aren’t likely being as healthy as you think you are by eating a lot of this fruit and veg.
The sad thing is that these pesticides were claimed to be safe for decades, which was until people learnt they weren’t and they were then phased out or banned entirely.
These pesticides are thought to be bad news because research has linked them to developmental problems in children and they may act as carcinogens too.
What is the best solution to this? Well the easiest way to avoid all the harmful pesticide residue is to choose organic, especially when it comes to buying anything that is listed on the dirty dozen list. Of course it can be expensive to buy all your fruit and vegetables as organic, so we advise just to choose organic for the products that are highest in pesticides. If you are on a tight budget then don’t worry, eating fruit and veg that are outside the dirty dozen have more health benefits than any potential risk of pesticide exposure.
With this in mind we have listed some of the fruit and veg that you should definitely be buying from your local farmers market over a supermarket.
You get a lot more benefits from eating cherries within a day or two of being picked, this is because they contain cholesterol lowering flavonoids and the longer they are left without being picked in a supermarket, the more likely they are to lose their ability to lower cholesterol. A good way to check their freshness is by checking if their stems are bright green and flexible.
A great tip is that if you find purple asparagus in a farmers market then you should definitely buy it! This colour asparagus contains disease-busting compounds that you can find in the regular kind, plus anthocyanins that are potent cancer fighters. Usually farmers markets are a great place to buy freshly picked asparagus from, if you are buying stems that are beginning to look crooked then chances are they really aren’t fresh and will therefore have lost a lot of nutrient.
A lot of people tend to buy the more brightly coloured red and yellow peppers buy green ones have just as many antioxidants and benefits to them. Yet surprisingly green bell peppers are frequently cheaper than their counterparts. A great way to use this saving is to buy them organic! This is especially important as conventionally owned ones are usually high on pesticides.
Apples are one of the biggest offenders when it comes to pesticides so if you have the opportunity to but them from your farmers market then the chances are that you will definitely be able to tell the difference in their flavour and freshness.