Dr Oz: Pesticide Residue On Summer Fruit
Summer fruit can certainly be tempting, but you may be surprised to learn that some fruits are healthier than others. Scott Faber from the Environmental Working Group joined Dr Oz to discuss pesticide and pesticide residue on fruit. He began by explaining that most consumers may not realize how many fruits have pesticide residue and that the residue can stay on fruit even after washing them.
There are actually two ways fruits could be considered “unsafe,” with the first being pesticides. Some fruits are more susceptible to pesticides, with Scott explaining that because certain fruits tend to attract more pests, they require the most pesticides. The EWG recently measured pesticide levels in American produce and released their 2016 “Dirty 12” and “Clean 15” lists. For the first time, strawberries are at the top of the “Dirty 12” list, because when the EWG looked at data collected by the USDA, 40% of the strawberry samples had 10 or more different pesticide residues. One sample even had 17 different pesticide residues, including some of the most concerning, cancer-related pesticides that have even been banned in other countries!
The good news is there’s been a large increase in the number of farmers in the past few years who are producing organic strawberries or strawberries grown with fewer pesticides.
Dr Oz: Fruits With Pesticide Residue + Clean Options
Dr Oz then glanced back at the Dirty Dozen list and noticed apples, peaches, nectarines, grapes, and cherries. Despite the findings, Scott argued “that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat them. It’s always better to eat fruits despite the risks posed by pesticides, but these are the kinds of things that you should be avoiding if you can spend a little bit more money… organic.”
Another option would be to purchase fruit found on the “Clean 15” list. Those fruits include pineapple, mangoes, kiwi, grapefruit, papaya, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Those were fruits that showed no or very little pesticide residue. Dr Oz pointed out that many of the clean fruits have skins that are removed before eating, which could be working to protect them.
Dr Oz: Washing Fruit
To shop for fruits that are truly clean, it helps to look at their labels. You may see words like “ready-to-eat,” “pre-washed,” or “triple washed.” Scott and the EWG always advises consumers to wash fruit before consuming, but fruit that has been labeled as being pre-washed likely was washed in an industrial setting, which means it wasn’t given the care you would give the fruit in your own kitchen. Scott claimed the words can provide a false sense of security.
To wash your fruit at home, first wash your hands! Then, combine three cups of water and one cup of vinegar. Soak your berries in that solution to kill bacteria and mild. Then rinse the berries and lay out some towels, before spreading out the berries and patting them dry.
Dr Oz: Sugar In Fruit
While talking about fruit, Dr Oz felt the need to answer one of the most commonly asked questions: is fruit making me fat? Author of “What the Fork Are You Eating” Stefanie Sacks explained that a lot of the excess sugar we’re consuming is in juice, because people don’t realize how much sugar is really in it. Stefanie said to reach for fresh fruit instead of juice, saying we should stop trying to get our nutrition from juice.
If you’re truly worried about sugar in fruit, mangoes and apples have more sugar than berries and lemons. But the fiber and nutrients in fruit still make it okay to snack on. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, try to stick to just 1-2 servings of fruit per day.