We like to tell our kids to eat their fruits and veggies, but thanks to Big Ag, the healthy stuff can pose as much danger as the junk food that dominates supermarket aisles. The Pesticide Action Network recently updated its database that tracks the pesticide residues found on the foods that we eat. For the first time, the group included baby food, and the verdict is grim: A jar of pureed pears contains 26 pesticide residues, including toxins that are known or probable carcinogens and chemicals that cause developmental or reproductive problems.
Pureed pears have the highest number of pesticides among the seven kinds of baby food sampled, but others trail just slightly behind. Pureed peaches have 22, and applesauce has 19—both more than regular canned tomatoes (five) and asparagus (nine). Which have the least? Sweet potatoes and peas packaged for babies contain only one type of pesticide each.
Research has shown that children are particularly sensitive to these chemicals. “Pound for pound children eat, drink, and inhale more than adults, which means they are taking more pesticides for their body weight,” PAN’s North American division said in a press release. “Their systems are also developing quickly and can be susceptible to interference from low-level exposures.”
Click through for more fruits and veggies that could be harmful for kids and adults alike.