That most fruits are contaminated, everybody knows it nowadays. But do you know just how contaminated they are and which among them are the most chemically-polluted? It is unfortunate that the fruits with the most pesticides are fruits that people consume daily, staple fruits so to say.
If rambutan, mangosteen or cherimoya ranked as the most contaminated fruits that would probably be less of a concern since people hardly consume them. These are fruits unknown to a lot of people and not as available or accessible as say apples and bananas.
But exotic fruits, in general, tend to be less contaminated than staple fruits because where they come from, places like Southeast Asia, West Africa, the Andes and the Amazon jungle, production is still a natural process, at least a lot more natural than the chemical boom currently undergoing in Canada.
When was the last time that fruit production in Canada or US was a natural process? And when was it that people started putting all sorts of chemicals in fruits?
It goes back to the early 19th century when chemists, agriculturists, and farmers took an interest in industrial agriculture and everything that goes along with it, including pest-controlling insecticides.
The initiative was admirable. The goal was to control the various factors that affected crops. It however and forever changed agriculture and the food supply system. Looking back, all those chemicals developed over the years to combat pests and diseases hardly benefit consumers, who are today forced to eat, and this is not an exaggeration, poison.
The most contaminated fruits and the residues in them
Apples – are currently known to carry residues from 47 pesticides. The chemical most often found is diphenylamine or DPA that can cause birth defects and change DNA. Both the inside and the outside of the fruit can contain DPA, which is often used to maintain a healthy appearance of the fruit.
Strawberries – and other berries contain one of the highest levels of residues. They can carry residues from a high number of pesticides, usually 10 to 17 although there are 45 pesticides currently used in production and post-production processes. Most often found in strawberries is tetrahydrophthalimide or THPI.
Nectarines – can carry residues from 33 pesticides. Most commonly found are formetanate hydrochloride and fludioxonil, both with serious concerns for human health. They are known as carcinogens and suspected to be hormone disruptors among others.
Peaches – extremely contaminated, peaches may carry over 60 pesticide residues, although not all are commonly found. Fludioxonil and iprodione are encountered most often, and both chemicals are known to have effects on human health and the environment.
Grapes – contaminated with over 55 residues, among which imidacloprid, boscalid and pyraclostrobin, grapes are some of the most consumed fruits in the country. The amount of pesticides and the type of chemicals they contain also make grapes some of the most dangerous fruits to consume in their conventional form.
The list of most contaminated fruits can change year after year. Strawberries were the most contaminated in 2016, whereas in previous years apples were first. But whether strawberries, apples or any of the other fruits take the lead, the issue remains that the most chemically-loaded are fruits people eat every day.