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Eight million pounds of pesticides are used in American agriculture, breaking down to 3 pounds for each of us. The amount ingested is lower but it's the cumulative effects that cause concern. Tests show pesticide residue on foods alters how our bodies use vitamins A and C, and increasing cancer risk. Foods that generally retain high levels of pesticides include strawberries, apples, peaches, celery, potatoes, grapes, oranges, carrots, green beans, lettuce, peanuts, wheat flour and common white cultivated mushrooms. Buy organic food when possible, invest a pesticide-reducing spray to wash away some of the contamination - or soak items in a bowl of water with a small amount of dishwashing soap for a short time and scrub those with tougher skins with a brush before rinsing.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|