Monday, July 8, 2013

Veggie Chronicles: Carrots & 26 Toxins on the Side

CARROTS - we love to roast 'em, boil 'em, and of course dip 'em in whatever we can! They pack a nutritious punch of beta-carotene, Vitamin A, antioxidants and 26 pesticides... Wait - What!? 

You read that right. According to tests conducted by the USDA, 26 pesticides (8 Carcinogens, 16 Hormone Disruptors, 3 Neurotoxins, 7 Development of Reproductive Toxins) are present in our carrot crops. Believe it or not, due to agribusiness' buddy-buddy relationship with the U.S. government and regulatory agencies, this is 100% legal. What's more is that companies are not required to make us, the consumer, aware of what our carrots have been treated with before arriving on our dinner plates or vegetable trays. If you're feeling a mix of shock and outrage - Good! You should be! We've blindly trusted our national regulatory agencies (EPA, FDA, USDA, etc.) to prevent harmful food items from ending up in our kitchens. Sadly, we've learned over the years that this isn't always the case (Sweet N Low, Arsenic-Laced Chicken Products, Coloring Agents Blue 1 &2, Yellow 5 &6 - Almost all of which are banned in many countries, including the EU). But, our vegetables - really guys? Is anything safe anymore? Unfortunately, you need to be more cautious and proactive than ever ( Always read your labels and ask questions! ).

That said, you do not have to give up your favorite veggie dipper just yet. Thanks to all of the amazing organic farmers out there, we do have options! I dug a little deeper into the data and found that while these toxins can appear on over 70% of the crops, when you look at Linuron ( a Developmental/Reproductive Toxin, suspected Hormone Disruptor and possible Carcinogen) for example, it is present on nearly 80% of all domestic conventionally grown carrots but presents on less than 7% of domestic organically grown carrots (the numbers are ever better for Imported). 

Our bodies are inundated with unavoidable toxins everyday (air pollution; water pollution; the person next to you spraying their desk with Lysol, perfumes loaded with neurotoxins). Take advantage of every opportunity you have to save your body from these harmful pesticides. When it comes to produce - choose organic whenever possible! The truth is in the numbers, you guys!

Keep it real,


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