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Clean Produce with Vinegar; Fight ADHD

For those with children – or grandchildren 🙂 – who are concerned about the connection between pesticides and ADHD, here is a simple solution to washing your produce effectively – vinegar! I found this on EveryDay Health.

For years, researchers have noticed a gradual increase in diagnoses of ADHD. In fact, about 4.5 million kids now struggle with the condition, a 3% increase in the last 10 years.

So what’s causing this increase? A study, recently released by the University of Montreal and Harvard University, highlights a possible link from our produce. While the findings don’t yet determine a cause, the study defines an association between the disorder and pesticides. After testing and analyzing 1,139 children for one year, researchers found those who had highest exposure to organophosphates were twice as likely to have ADHD.

Organophosphates are man-made pesticides that are sprayed onto fruits and vegetables to keep insects away. While once thought harmless, some now argue children are sensitive to these pesticides. At a young age, the brain is rapidly developing, and kids possibly consume more due to their smaller body weight and size.

Frozen blueberries were found to have the highest organophosphate residue at 28%, with strawberries coming in at a close second at 25%. Celery had a 19% contamination rate.

How do we protect ourselves from pesticide contamination? Here are some helpful hints. If possible, buy local and organic. Even if you do, make sure to still peal your fruit when you have the option. For fruits and vegetables that can’t be peeled (like strawberries and celery), make sure you wash them thoroughly. Most people think running fruit under water for a few seconds gets the job done – wrong. The best cleaning method is to wash produce with a diluted vinegar solution. Here’s how to do it.

Cleaning Produce with Vinegar

Reuse an old spray bottle. For every cup of white vinegar, add three cups of water. Shake well and spray your fruits and vegetables with the solution. You should spray enough to cover their entire surface. After, wash them with cold tap water so your fruits and veggies don’t taste and smell like vinegar (I’ll pass on the vinegar-flavored strawberries, thank you).

Tests prove that the vinegar solution removes 98% of all bacteria or pesticides, compared to 80% when washing with a water and brush.

Do you have any tips to help fight pesticide contamination?

July 14, 2011 - Posted by | Family Issues, Health Issues

5 Comments »

  1. What tests and who did them? I see a lot of blogs stating the same fact but where is the original information?

    Comment by J | July 14, 2011 | Reply

  2. J, did you even read this entry? The part where it says “recently released by the University of Montreal and Harvard University?” If I cared enough to look for the studies, that’s where I would start.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 14, 2011 | Reply

  3. By Googling University of Montreal Harvard study ADHD vinegar, I came to the following on the Pasco County Library System Online Government Services Healthcare, where I found the source of the article. It took like one minute:

    A study in the journal Pediatrics associates the potential of exposure to pesticides with cases of ADHD in the U.S. and Canada. An estimated 4.5 million children ages 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Research indicates that exposure to pesticides used on foods such as frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries and celery, appears to be a potential contributor in increasing the chances that children will be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

    In the ADHD study led by Maryse Bouchard, researchers at the University of Montreal and Harvard University studied the levels of pesticide residue in the urine of more than 1,139 children ages 8 to 15, 119 of whom were diagnosed with ADHD. The children with highest levels of diakyl phosphates, the breakdown products of organophosphate pesticides, were 93 percent more likely to have the disorder than those with undetectable levels. The exact causes of ADHD are still unknown. Bouchard stressed that while her analysis is the first to peg pesticides as a potential contributor to ADHD, the study proves only an association and not a direct causal link.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 14, 2011 | Reply

  4. I wish I knew long time ago, 24 years ago !! It is never too late. thank you very much for sharing this article . Lots of love, Hugs

    Comment by Hayfa Al Mughni | July 14, 2011 | Reply

  5. No child with ADHD has ever had more caring parents and advocates, my friend.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 14, 2011 | Reply


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