On Wednesday, October 4th the Dr. Oz Show aired a segment claiming children’s health issues from pesticide residues on fresh produce. It infuriated me. Let’s get 1 thing straight…. ALL PRODUCE IS GOOD FOR YOU. It’s an excellent choice for your family & you should always feel great about feeding your children fruits & vegetables!
I’ve worked over 7 years in this business. I take pride in what we sell & represent in the Produce Industry. I love how everyone can relate to it & enjoys it. I believe in the culture, memories and love that surround food. And I most definitely believe that our industry farms & sells the most wholesome & healthy foods in the world!
My husband & I have a 5-year-old & a 2-year-old son. Most of the produce served in our home is conventionally-grown. I occasionally purchase organic produce, but more often than not my precious children are consuming conventionally-grown fruits & vegetables. And I smile with pride every time I witness my boys enjoying fresh produce. There is nothing more wholesome & nutritious than fruits & vegetables. Take pride in your healthy choices! And know that a diet rich in fruits & vegetables will lower risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes & obesity. Any Doc will agree with that statement…. Even Dr. Oz!
“By eating five different colored fruits and vegetables a day you can reduce the risk of dying of a heart attack.” – Dr. Mehmet Oz. Yep. Here is a video of him speaking the famous words. (never underestimate the web-navigation powers of a blogger!) Did I miss the footnote in Dr. Oz’s quote about the only cancer-fighting fruits & vegetables being those which are organically-grown? No. I didn’t. Because ALL PRODUCE IS GOOD FOR YOU.
Let’s set aside this belief that organic produce trumps non-organic produce because of the pesticide residues in fresh produce. I encourage you to check out the pesticide calculator on The Alliance for Food & Farming website. This webpage is the best consumer resource for science based information regarding pesticide residues. Below are some interesting figures from this website regarding pesticides in produce – the numbers speak for themselves. Fresh produce is safe for consumers young, old & in between.
- A grown man could consume 133,951 servings of Celery in one day without any effect even if the Celery has the highest pesticide residue recorded for Celery by USDA!
- A grown woman could consume 2,042 servings of Strawberries in one day without any effect even if the Strawberries have the highest pesticide residue recorded for Strawberries by USDA.
- A teen could consume 298 servings of Apples in one day without any effect even if the Apples have the highest pesticide residue recorded for Apples by USDA.
- A child could consume 56,117 servings of Carrots in one day without any effect even if the Carrots have the highest pesticide residue recorded for Carrots by USDA.
The official response from the Produce Industry to Dr. Oz’s show on fresh produce, pesticides & children’s health is as follows:
Produce farmers are committed to providing safe and healthy fruits and vegetables to consumers. This is the same food they feed their own families. The facts stand strong – the health benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (both conventional and organic) is well known and well documented. Decades of nutritional studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have improved health and longer lives – these studies were largely conducted using conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
Further, recent peer reviewed studies show that children who lack access to healthy foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, are twice as likely to develop behavioral problems. Poor diets in children have also been associated with a five point drop in IQ.
Our organizations represent both organic and conventional farmers and we strongly affirm the safety of both production practices. The use of pesticides on organic and conventional farms is stringently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture as well as state and local regulatory authorities. Produce farmers work with these regulatory bodies to ensure responsible use of organic and conventional pesticides. It’s in their best interest – not only for the safety of consumers, but for their families as well.
We urge consumers to learn more about the safety of organic and conventionally grown produce by visiting safefruitsandveggies.com. Read, learn, choose, but eat more fruits and vegetables for improved health.
Marilyn Dolan, Executive Director, Alliance for Food and Farming
Tom Nassif, President and CEO, Western Growers Association
Bryan Silbermann, President and CEO, Produce Marketing Association
Tom Stenzel, President and CEO, United Fresh Produce Association
Fruits & Vegetables… Good Choices For Your Family. More Matters®. It’s that simple.
xoxo Produce Mom