Spring Cleaning: Throwing Out Food Myths

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Every spring, we clean out the clutter. Throw things out. Let’s do the same with two food myths that insist on cluttering and confusing our food choices and budget. And let’s get back to science-based, sensible decisions about eating for optimal health. Facts, not fear.

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fruits and vegetables

Myth: Organic fruits and vegetables are healthier than conventional.

Fact #1: They are basically no different from a nutritional standpoint, containing practically the same vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Very small differences in a few studies have not yet warranted a scientific consensus that organic is more nutritional. And besides, our soil’s nutrients change constantly.

Fact #2: If pesticide residues are your concern, rest assured conventional produce is just as safe to consume as organic produce. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets and enforces strict standards of safety with pesticide residues. Scientists say the mere presence of pesticide residues does not mean they are harmful. One easy step you can take is to simply wash it! This reduces or eliminates pesticide residues if they are present. Wash all your produce with cold or warm water, and wipe with a clean paper towel. Always remove the outer leaves of leafy vegetables, too. If you’re still not convinced, check out the Pesticide Residue calculator at SafeFruitsAndVeggies.com. I found I could eat 836 servings of cherries, my favorite fruit, in one day without any effect even if the cherries have the highest amount of pesticide residue recorded for cherries by the USDA.

Fact #3: Just eat MORE fruits and vegetables since they have dozens of critical vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to promote optimal health and help ward off diseases. And remember: All forms count – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice.

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