Proper Washing of Fruits & Vegetables is Imperative…Organic or Not Part 2 of 2 – Your Health Detective

Key Points…

  • Washing produce with plain tap water will remove grime and dirt but not bacteria or pesticides;
  • When you get your produce from small farmers in natural settings using clean water, as opposed to massive agribusiness conglomerates that use sewage sludge as fertilizer, there is very little risk of eating these foods raw;
  • Pesticide exposure during pregnancy endangers the developing fetus.

Pesticide-Induced Diseases

The common diseases affecting the public’s health are all too well-known in the 21st century: asthma, autism and learning disabilities, birth defects and reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, epidemic rates of inflammatory disorders, and several types of cancer. Their connection to pesticide exposure continues to strengthen despite efforts to restrict individual chemical exposure, or mitigate chemical risks, using risk assessment-based policies.

Scientific Perspective…

The following information was compiled from that reported in the New York Times and provides a great collection of the science behind dangers of pesticide exposure:

The research, based on data collected in New York and California from about 1,000 pregnant women and their babies, is certain to set off a new debate about the benefits of organic produce and the risks of chemicals found in the food supply and consumer products. The pesticides, called organophosphates, are commonly sprayed on food crops and are often used to control cockroaches and other pests in city apartments. Keep in mind that when referring to the toxicity of pesticides, it’s not only those used in buildings and gardens, but also those sprayed on food we consume.

The latest findings are based on three separate but similar studies financed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Two were conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Columbia University and studied urban families in New York; the third was done by researchers at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and focused on children in Salinas, Calif., an agricultural area. All three were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. 

Each study began about a decade ago, when researchers recruited pregnant women who gave blood and urine samples that were used to measure pesticide exposure. In some instances, umbilical cord blood was tested. After the babies were born, the researchers continued to monitor the health of the children and also obtained regular urine samples to determine exposure to pesticides.

Over all, the studies found that women who had higher exposures to pesticides during pregnancy gave birth to children who eventually had lower I.Q. scores once they reached school age. In the Berkeley study, for instance, children with the highest levels of prenatal pesticide exposure scored 7 points lower on intelligence tests compared with children with the lowest levels of exposure. In that study, every 10-fold increase in organophosphate exposure detected during pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall I.Q. scores.

“I think these are shocking findings,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai. “Babies exposed to the highest levels had the most severe effects. It means these children are going to have problems as they go through life.”

Dr. Landrigan compared the findings with research in the 1980s that linked childhood lead exposure to lower intelligence, dyslexia, higher risk for dropping out of school and a range of behavioral and developmental problems. As a result of that research, lead was removed from gasoline to prevent exposure from car exhaust, and it was also removed from paints and other consumer products.

The drop in I.Q. scores shown in the pesticide studies is similar to the drops shown in the earlier lead research, Dr. Landrigan said.

“When we took lead out of gasoline, we reduced lead poisoning by 90 percent, and we raised the I.Q. of a whole generation of children by four or five points,’’ said Dr. Landrigan. “I think these findings about pesticides should generate similar controversy, but I’m cautiously optimistic that they will have the effect of having the E.P.A. sharply reduce the use of organophosphate pesticides.”

Individuals can also do more to limit their own exposure. In homes with pest problems, sealing up cracks and crevices in baseboards and cleaning up food residue has been shown to be more effective at controlling cockroaches than using pesticides.

Minimizing Pesticide Exposure in Food

Steps can also be taken to minimize exposure to pesticides in foods, particularly among pregnant women. Buying organic foods can help because certified organic fruits and vegetables aren’t grown with organophosphate pesticides. Better washing and peeling of conventionally grown produce can also reduce exposure.

The Environmental Working Group offers a shoppers guide at showing which foods have the highest and lowest rates of pesticide exposure. Strawberries, peaches, celery, apples and spinach typically have the highest levels of pesticide residue among commercially grown fruits and vegetables. Onions, avocado, frozen corn and pineapple had the lowest levels of pesticide residue.

The Way I See It…

In my previous article I shared with you easy, inexpensive ways of properly washing fruits and vegetables. That said, for those times when you do end up with G.I. distress here’s what I do:’

  • Immediately take a high potency probiotic to add that health-enhancing bacteria back into your G.I. tract in case your discomfort is from health-depleting microorganisms. I use and recommend a capsule that contains 60 Billion health-enhancing organisms in one capsule called UltraFlora IB. For those that cannot swallow capsules, open the capsule and empty contents into a small amount of water and swallow – its tasteless. Make sure you take on an empty stomach when possible (45 min. before/after any food) for maximum benefits.
  • For times when you get that immediate diarrhea from bacteria in any food, I use and recommend a proprietary homeopathic complex called Intestinal Bacteria. Simply take 6 drops under your tongue and repeat three times with about 10 minutes inbetween. This is an important addition to your travel kit and one I don’t leave home without, naturally.

Your Health Detective:

Uncovering Clues to Add LIFE to Your Years…NOT Merely Years to Your Life, Naturally

Dr. Gloria Gilbère (aka Dr. G) DA Hom., PhD.,  DSC., EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist, Medical Journalist, Best-selling Author and Health Detective.

            Dr. Gilbère is renowned worldwide for her work in nutrition-based medicine and identifying and finding natural solutions to chemically-induced and inflammatory disorders, multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, and digestive disorders that defy conventional diagnosis and treatment.

            She consults worldwide via telephone, at the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation in Sandpoint, Idaho and the new fully integrative medical Clinic for Wholistic Rejuvenation in Gig Harbor, Washington. Visit her website at for details about consulting with her at either location or by phone. To schedule a consultation or for more information, call (208) 255-5252 (Mon. – Thurs. 8: to 2: Pacific Time). She is the acclaimed talk-show host of “Dr. Gloria – Health Detective”, and author of 11 books, 6 courses and over 1,400 health articles.  

She created certificated courses and post-graduate education for health and spa professionals to become a Wholistic Rejuvenist™ (CWR). Go to and click on Wholistic Skin & Body Rejuvenation (WSBR™) for course outline. Available on-site at worldwide locations, and via distance-learning at your convenience globally.

Published by Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – ©2011/2012 Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, A Private Healthcare Membership Association, all rights reserved.

Information in this newsletter is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by medical professionals, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease or disorder. The FDA has not reviewed or endorsed the contents of this educational publication.

Copyright is held by Gloria E. Gilbère, to which all rights are reserved. Other than personal, non-commercial use or forwarding, no material in this newsletter may be copied, distributed, or published without the expressed written permission of its author and copyright holder.


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John Riedl

Simply put that’s why I’ve gone down the health journey of research and creating health brands.

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