You might think so, by avoiding those bioaccumulative (POPs-type) pesticides that build up in the bodies of cattle, poultry, and their cousins, milk and eggs. You would certainly cut down on your intake of pesticides, and also growth hormones and antibiotics that are added to animal feed.
After reading my blog articles you will have recognized that we absorb lots of other toxic substances from plastics, food packages, and household items, e.g., phthalates, BPA, PFOA, and PBDEs, to name a few. But even if you somehow avoid significant contaminations by these toxics lurking everywhere, there is still a threat. A vegetarian has to eat something, and that will include cereals, vegetables, and fruits, and things made from them, like bread, cake, cookies, crackers, and cooking oils. “So what?” you may ask. All major grain crops – wheat, corn, oats, and rice – are sprayed with insecticides or herbicides or fungicides. Tons and tons of them! Even a non food crop like cotton is sprayed (a lot), and the crushed seeds yield cottonseed oil, a major cooking oil. Soybeans are another source of cooking oils, and it has been shown that Roundup© applied to the plants is incorporated into the beans, hence, into the oil. Some of the pesticide sprayed onto fruit is also absorbed into the fruit, and therefore cannot be entirely removed by washing or peeling. Unless you buy organic, you will be ingesting pesticides.
The story gets more gruesome as one probes deeper, for example, rocket fuel (perchlorate) in lettuce and dioxins on grains, but we will end the agony here.
Consult the guide below for pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables. For more information see http://www.whatsonmyfood.org.
PESTICIDES IN PRODUCE
The Environmental Working Group, January 31, 2007
|RANK||FRUIT OR VEGGIE||SCORE|
|3||Sweet Bell Peppers||86|
|9||Grapes – Imported||68|