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How to Make Sure You Aren't Consuming
Pesticides and Herbicides: The 5 Key Steps


Eating fruits and vegetables is an important part of being healthy. Yet, with each bite of apple and every stalk of broccoli there could be a hidden hazard to your health: pesticides and herbicides.


Peaches contain some of the highest pesticide loads out there, so make sure to buy these organic.

Studies have linked pesticides to an astounding array of health problems including:

  • Cancer

  • Fertility problems

  • Brain tumors

  • Childhood leukemia

  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • Birth defects

  • Irritation to skin and eyes

  • Hormone or endocrine system problems

  • Nervous system damage

Those especially at risk from pesticides are children, whose bodies are still developing, along with pregnant women, whose unborn children are extremely susceptible to damage from these toxic chemicals.

Even low levels of pesticides, consumed over time, can be problematic. A study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, for instance, found that people who had been exposed to low levels of pesticides were 1.13 times as likely to have Parkinson's disease as those who had never been exposed.

And if you eat produce, there's a good chance you're being exposed. According to Hazardous Pesticides in the European Parliament, released October 2007, the eight food samples they tested, which ranged from oranges to strawberries to grapes, contained 28 different pesticide residues, with an average of almost five per fruit.

kids pesticides

Kids are especially vulnerable to the hazardous effects of pesticides, so keeping their exposure to a minimum is a must.

The pesticides included:

  • 10 known carcinogens

  • 3 neurotoxins

  • 3 reproductive or developmental toxins

  • 8 suspected endocrine disrupters

  • 2 contaminants classified as "Highly Hazardous" by the World Health Organization

Three of the eight food samples contained pesticide residues so high they were technically illegal to sell, and the oranges contained illegally high levels of imazalil, a carcinogen. By eating just one orange, a 5-year-old would receive 70 percent of the "Acute Reference Dose" for that chemical.

Fortunately, the amount of pesticides you consume is something you can take control of.

How Can You Stop Consuming Pesticides?

There are numerous ways to make sure that the food you and your family depend on is as pesticide- and herbicide-free as possible. The top tips include:

Wash Dem Veggies!

vegetable wash

Safely remove toxic pesticides, dirt, mold and other residues from your family's produce with Vermont Soap Organics' Wash dem Veggies. This unique fruit and vegetable wash:

  • Makes foods taste better

  • All Organic-Soap based

  • All-natural ingredients

  • Healthy, non-toxic alternative

  • Absolutely NO artificial colors, fragrances and preservatives

  • Available in 16oz or Economical Gallon Size

  • No Animal Testing

  • No Animal Products or By-Products

Find out More and Order Wash Dem Veggies Fruit and Vegetable Wash Now!

  1. Choose organic produce and animal products (dairy, eggs, meat). By definition, organic producers must "abstain from the application of prohibited materials (including synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and sewage sludge) for 3 years prior to certification and then continually throughout their organic license."

  2. Wash your produce thoroughly using a high-quality veggie wash. Contrary to popular belief, simply washing with water and peeling fruit and vegetables is not enough to protect yourself and your family from pesticides. It will reduce the levels somewhat, but it will not eliminate them. An excellent alternative that will help to remove pesticides from your produce better than water alone is Vermont Soap Organics' Wash dem Veggies. This fruit and veggie wash naturally eliminates pesticides, dirt, mold and other residues.


  1. If you can't buy organic, choose the least contaminated produce. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a not-for-profit environmental research organization, by avoiding the most-contaminated produce out there, and concentrating on the least contaminated instead, you can reduce your exposure to pesticides by almost 90 percent. (Click here for a list of the 20 most contaminated and 20 least contaminated pesticides.)

  2. Choose organic varieties of other foods as well. Pesticide use usually centers on produce, but some studies have found wine, bread, wheat and flour products (such as pasta, pizza, cookies, cereal, and more) to contain high levels of pesticides as well.

Keep Your Healthy Fruits and Veggies Fresh Longer!

MiniMateOnce you invest in organic produce for the health of your family, protect your investment using the MiniMate Refrigerator Unit.

The MiniMate deodorizes (replacing baking soda boxes in the fridge) and kills potentially dangerous food-borne bacteria. This extends the freshness and life of many foods 3 to 4 times longer!

Plus, the MiniMate:

  • Features an activated oxygen generator to eliminate odors, keep foods fresher longer and kill bacteria in your refrigerator

  • Naturally kills odors without any cover-up scents or fragrance

  • Reduces food spoilage and prevents cross-contamination of food odors

  • Breaks down pesticides and herbicides on produce

Find Out More About the MiniMate Refrigerator Unit Now!

  1. Make sure your water is pesticide-free. DEET, a chemical found in insect repellants, has been found in some drinking water supplies. The U.S. government doesn't have standards for DEET in your water, so to find out if your water is safe you can have it independently tested to find out what, if any, contaminants exist.

    Also incredibly important is using a high-quality Wellness Kitchen Filter for your home's water. The Wellness Kitchen is tested to reduce VOCs, pesticides, and herbicides -- including DEET -- below detectable levels for the life of the filter.

The Wellness Kitchen combines the best filtration and enhancement technologies to deliver the purest and most natural tasting water available. It effectively reduces harmful contaminants, while at the same time enhancing the water with delicate ions and minerals.

Once you implement these tips, you may be wondering, will it really make an impact? According to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives, yes!

When kids switched from conventional food to organic food, their levels of pesticides became undetectable within eight to 36 hours.

"Once you switch from conventional food to organic, the pesticides (malathion and chlorpyrifos) that we can measure in the urine disappears. The level returns immediately when you go back to the conventional diets," said Chensheng Lu, the lead author of the study and a professor at Emory University's School of Public Health.

Recommended Reading

Food Nutrition Labels: Six Catches You Need to Know

How Many Insect Parts and Rodent Hairs are Allowed in Your Food?


Occupational and Environmental Medicine March 1, 2007

Hazardous Pesticides in European Parliament January 30, 2008

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