Why fruit is so bad for you

  • Revealed, the two most toxic fruits 
  • The cocktail that causes cancer 
  • So… is there any point in washing your fruit? Here’s the good and bad news

We live in worrying times.

The levels of pollution and toxins in the world are hugely troubling – from microplastics in our bloodstream to ‘forever chemicals’ in our water supplies.

One of the ways I’ve always advised to protect your health is through good nutrition, eating whole fruit and vegetables as much as possible.

Which is why this latest news is so appalling…

The latest study by the Pesticide Action Network has found more dangerous chemicals than ever on British fruit and vegetables.

There were 122 different pesticides found on the 12 most polluted items.

These are known as the ‘dirty dozen’.

A massive 61% of the chemicals found on them are classified as highly hazardous pesticides by the UN.

Worst of them all?

Well, the top two bad boys in the dirty dozen are oranges and grapes.

Almost ALL oranges and grapes contain what the charity calls a “cocktail of pesticides”.

It’s not quite the ‘fruit cocktail’ I would recommend you eat.

What’s so bad about this is that it is never more important to protect your immune system and cell health, and yet the very whole foods we need are contaminated to dangerous levels.

47 of the pesticides listed have links to cancer, while 15 of them can damage sexual function and fertility.

There are another 17 which impair the respiratory system and can lead to foggy thinking, confusion and headaches.

It means that a lot of the niggling health issues that puzzle your doctor so much could simply be down to the effects of modern farming.

Now, you might think…

“It’s ok, Ray, I wash my fruit and veg.”

Well, that’s good.

And you SHOULD.

Because it really does reduce your exposure to chemicals (if you do it in the way I will recommend in a moment). Namely, the fungicides used to prevent rotting when fruit and vegetables are in transit.

You can get rid of those fairly easily.

But here’s the bad news…

In a Guardian article about this latest study, a spokesperson for the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) said it was IMPOSSIBLE to avoid consuming toxic chemicals because they have been absorbed into the flesh of the fruits and vegetables.

It means that no amount of washing will do any good.

You’re going to ingest those chemicals, whatever happens.

Horrible, isn’t it?

Especially bearing in mind how amazing things like grapes (one of the two worst offenders) are for you.

They contain resveratrol, which can:

  • Protect the lining of your arteries to help blood flow
  • Reduce oxidative stress, which prevents the premature ageing of cells
  • Block the production of inflammatory agents linked to joint and muscle pain
  • Support cells that improve mental function
  • Help reduce muscle wasting

But if you eat most shop-bought grapes, these benefits will be counteracted by the cocktail of invisible chemicals inside them.

So what can you do?

Well, according to PAN, the only option is to buy organic produce.

But they admit that few people can afford to do that.

It’s a much more expensive way to eat and way beyond the budget of most British people.

If you can mix in as much organically grown fruit and veg with your regular shopping, though, it will certainly lessen your exposure.

The only other thing to do is to campaign for stricter controls – because the onus should not be on us to sort this out but the agricultural industry.

These farming practices are killing us.

In the meantime, it is advisable to keep washing your fruit and veg.

As I’ve already mentioned, there are herbicides on fruit and veg which you can wash off when you get your shopping home.

But there are also other contaminants too…

Bacteria can get onto fruit and vegetables via the water used for irrigation… from organic fertilisers… from bird droppings and from other animals that snuffle around in fields.

For instance, in 2011, there was a major E.coli outbreak which was caused by soil on leeks and potatoes.

So it is possible to get food poisoning and stomach upsets from vegetables as well as meat.

Washing will help avoid any problems, if you do it this way…

Top tips for washing raw food

First, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 30 seconds.

Now you can handle the fruit or veg.

Rinse it under water, rubbing it with your hands (don’t use soap!).

Ideally, a clean vegetable brush will scrub a lot of the contaminates from the surface.

Make sure you do this before you peel, rather than peeling and then washing, otherwise the bacteria will simply attach themselves to the blade.

Now dry it with some kitchen roll or a clean cloth to get rid of any lingering nasties.

Finally, wash your hands again before you move onto any other ingredients.

That’s it – job done!

I realise this sounds like a hassle and I’m guilty of breaking these rules, I’ll admit, but I’m going to make more of an effort in future.