Buying as organically as possible is at the forefront of my mind at the moment as I have just started an aptly named ‘boat camp’ in the port of Antibes with personal trainer extraordinaire Paddy Warwick. Over the next six weeks, I will be training hard in the early mornings as I work for my bikini body before the summer season kicks in. But while working out and regularly exercise is essential for building or maintaining fitness, eating clean and green really is the key to success.
Environmental Working Group has just released its latest update on the amount of pesticides found in fruit and vegetables. The result is a list of 12 of the ‘dirtiest’ types of fresh produce found in our supermarkets and it’s a bit of a wakeup call when you read the statistics.
The testing took place in the United States and involved over 3,000 samples of produce destined for supermarket shelves. Of this number, nearly two thirds of all produce contained pesticide and insecticide residues – many of which are toxic to our bodies. The tests detected a total of 165 different pesticides of various strengths and many of the most common fruit and vegetables in our baskets have been revealed to be affected.
Now I know we are in the French Riviera and not in the middle of an American hypermarket, but despite consumer demand calling out for more organic produce and France’s considerable restrictions of GMO crops, many of these dirty products are still available in our local shops.
The dirty dozen
Sugar snap peas
Some of the highest affected goods include apples – 99% were found with traces of toxins – peaches (98%) and nectarines (97%). The average potato was found to contain more pesticides by weight than any other produce and in two separate cases, a single grape and one pepper contained as many as 15 different pesticides.
But the news in the report wasn’t all bad and EWG has also released a list of the ‘clean 15’ – the handful of fruit and vegetables that seem to be finally bucking the pesticide trend and going organic.
The clean 15
Eating organic can be an expensive task, but at least the list helps to define which fruit and vegetables you should be splashing a little more cash on if you can. That said, it isn’t always as pricey as you would think and my best recommendations for buying organic are Cannes’ Forville market (Tuesdays to Sundays) and Grand Frais supermarket in Mougins. The market is great for farm-grown and hand-picked goods sold by the farmers themselves while Grand Frais’ exceptional range of fresh produce is one than any other supermarket in the south of France can only dream of and is one that all health conscious expats certainly do!
To find out more about the study, please click here.