one green planet
one green planet

Whether we’re talking about herbicides, rodenticides, or insecticides, they’re all considered pesticides, and we should be weary of eating them. Insecticides and other pesticides are great at killing pest-species, which seems like a good choice to better preserve our food crops and protect them from pests. But there is evidence that the toxins from these products can damage our health, especially in children. Pesticides may cause eye and skin irritation, are linked to ADHD and cancer, and pose a risk of autism. Watch out for these popular food products made with produce that was likely sprayed with pesticides.

Potato Chips

Unfortunately, the delicious potato has received a spot on the 2014 Dirty Dozen list, which is a list that is updated each year of the most pesticide-ridden produce. After they’re grown and sprayed with pesticides, dirty potatoes are then peeled, chopped, processed and neatly packaged into bags. It’s not just the salt and fat that’s hiding inside those shiny chip bags; the main ingredient is a pesticide potato, after all. Look for brands that are made with organic potatoes. Or, try making your own chips at home.

Strawberry and Peach Frozen Sweet Treats

Strawberry and peach are two popular flavors for ice cream, popsicles and other frozen treats. The pictures of frozen fruit bars on the packaging look so tempting, but opt for products that use organic strawberries and peaches. These two fruits in particular are among the dirtiest, as are grapes and nectarines. How about making your own frozen delights and bypassing the packaged treats entirely?

Your Favorite Restaurant’s Garden Salad

Unless you’re eating at an awesome spot that touts its strict use of organic produce and cold-pressed oils, your favorite restaurant’s garden salad is chock full of pesticides. Some popular salad ingredients that secured a throne on the Dirty Dozen list include cherry tomatoes, spinach, celery, cucumbers, snap peas, kale and collard greens. Yum, everyone wants a bowl of pesticides along with their vitamins, right?

Packaged Oatmeal with Apples

Apples are the #1 food on the 2014 Dirty Dozen list. Of course, you don’t have to worry about the pesticides if you buy organic apples, but watch out for apples and apple food products that don’t specify being made with organic apples. Instant oatmeal products made with apples are included; buy it with organic ingredients or make your own using fresh, organic fruit.

Dried Fruit

Apples would also fall into this category, but other fruits on the dirty dozen list to watch out for are strawberries, peaches, grapes and nectarines. Those packages of dried fruit are tasty, but look for “organic dried fruit” if you’re concerned about possible adverse health effects of GMOs and pesticides. Consider buying a dehydrator and making your own dried fruit using organic varieties. Check out these 10 Best Fruits to Dehydrate and How to Eat Them.

For more information on effects of pesticide use on our crops, check out these articles: Understanding the Effects of Pesticides on Your Health and Pesticides Linked to Bee Colony Collapse.

Lead image source: mosespreciado/ Flickr