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May 22, 2018  |  Login
Fresh Produce Options
By Dr. Alan Greene
Organic food products are no longer specialty items sold only in hard-to-find “health food” stores. Today they are sold in most supermarkets na­tion­wide. But whether or not you’re able to find organic fruits and vegetables, follow these guidelines:
  • Try to eat produce that is grown locally. Imported produce often contains higher pesticide levels than food grown in the United States. There are exceptions, where certain countries actually have more stringent rules, but unless you know the regulations of the particular country, it’s safer to reduce imported produce.

  • Buy produce in its peak season. Skip summer fruits in February! This helps in two ways. First, the food is more likely to be grown in the United States. Second, the timing can further cut down on your intake of pesticides. As produce reaches the end of its growing season, farmers often use more chemicals to keep them growing, keep them from rotting, and keep them from being consumed by insects and other pests.
  • Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables in water. This will remove some (but not all) of the pesticide residues on the surface. You can go a step further by spraying and rubbing the produce with distilled white vinegar, followed by a cold-water rinse. This will remove most wax, soil, and surface residues.

  • Grow your own. Whether you have a yard with room for a farmer’s yield of fruits and vegetables or only a windowsill with a few pots for fresh herbs, what you grow yourself is bound to be fresh and tasty—and you’ll know exactly how the produce was raised. You can even start with organic seeds or seedlings.

  • Choose produce known to be less contaminated. Buy organic.


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