Welcome to the Wonderful World of Stu! I have a confession to make. I think Gwyneth Paltrow is a good actress. Ironman, Shallow Hal, The Royal Tenenbaums… come on, those are good movies! But these days she seems more occupied with managing her health and lifestyle brand “Goop,” than acting.
Goop is concerned with all things that have to do with “wellness” — whatever that means. Like this story for example: “What Fruits & Veggies Have the Most Pesticides? The Dirty Dozen is Here.” The “Dirty Dozen” list goes on to describe the foods with the most amounts of evil, no good, dastardly pesticides. Goop is off to a good start, but I’ve compiled my own list to give you a more thorough answer to what fruits and veggies have the most pesticides. It’s time to get anti-social.
According to Goop’s list, apples… delicious apples… are one of the most pesticide ravaged fruits you can eat. In fact, apples were found to have 47 pesticide residues by the USDA and the Pesticide Action Network — which apparently is a thing. But those are just some of the pesticides. In actuality, apples have even more than that… like caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and the much newer, more dangerous and downright racist neochlorogenic acid just to name a few. But those aren’t synthetic pesticides. Those are natural pesticides. And it’s not just apples… every single fruit and vegetable makes its own natural pesticides. That’s right. Even if you pay 300 percent more for those “organic” apples, you still get the pesticides that come with it.
The word pesticide gets a bad rap anyway. It just sounds icky—like homicide, suicide, and genocide. But what does “pesticide” really mean? A pesticide is any chemical, natural or human-made, that is designed to kill another organism; in this case, a pest. You know… something that ruins your food.
Let’s take a moment to remember something real quick. Produce has been around way longer than Whole Foods. I know it’s hard to believe. But plants have always naturally produced their own antibiotics to kill threatening insects and other organisms without any help from us. In the last few decades, we’ve learned to improve upon their process with synthetic chemicals, but let’s not forget who started this deadly biological war… plants. The pure, natural, healthy foods you love like cantaloupe, apricots, cauliflower and, yes, even kale are actually the ones to blame for the pesticides now infiltrating your body.
According to research by Dr. Bruce Ames, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California Berkeley — such a conservative institution — 99.99 percent of the pesticides consumed in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves. 99.99%. The amount of natural pesticides present in our food absolutely dwarfs the amount of man-made pesticides.
Dr. Ames estimated that “Americans eat about 1.5 grams of natural pesticides per person per day, which is about 10,000 times more than they eat of synthetic pesticide residues.” We eat about 5,000 to 10,000 different natural pesticides every single day. And just because these pesticides are “natural” doesn’t mean they are nice, wholesome, pesticides that promote “wellness.” Natural pesticides are way more harmful than fake pesticides. Many natural pesticides are known to cause cancer in rodent testing. In his study, Dr. Ames suggested that “it is probable that almost every fruit and vegetable in the supermarket contains natural plant pesticides that are rodent carcinogens. The levels of these rodent carcinogens are commonly thousands of times higher than the levels of synthetic pesticides.” And don’t even think about cooking those fruit and vegetables. That just increases the carcinogens.
But I wouldn’t worry about it. Until today, you probably didn’t even know that you eat approximately 5,000-10,000 rat-cancer-causing natural pesticides every single day and you’re fine. Besides, trying to rid pesticides from your diet is futile and the definition of un-natural. And you don’t want to be “un-natural” do you, Goop? The only sure-fire way to eliminate pesticides from your diet would be to not eat — anything. At all. Ever. I couldn’t do it — but that’s probably what Gwyneth Paltrow does.
So, to review, all plants have natural pesticides on them. All of them. You consume way more natural pesticides than synthetic pesticides—and they are even more “harmful” than the fake stuff. And if apples are so riddled with nasty pesticides, then why did Gwyneth Paltrow name her daughter Apple? You don’t get to give advice about anything when you name your offspring Apple. Unless you’re an apple.
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