Can Fruits and Veggies Be Bad For You?

Can Fruits and Veggies Be Bad For You?

My first ten years of life were on a peaceful dairy farm in southern Iowa.  Usually around Memorial Day, we would begin the long process of planting the garden.  Dad would have already plowed up the ground with the tractor and mom, my sisters and I would take our seeds and diligently plant them one at a time.  Carrots were fast because they sprinkled in quickly and could be thinned out later but beans were one seed at a time; with each sister working with a task according to her age.  Of course I just thought that’s what everyone did back then.  It was a season of life to provide food for the table.  How could I know that 30 years later these beautiful foods could be the very thing that would bring sickness to families?

My sisters, neighbor kids and I, waiting for the school bus 1963

We couldn’t afford the new white store bought “Wonder” bread, so mom made the kind that had to be home made and was a little rougher on our little mouths, but again so healthy for our bodies.  In the fall we would harvest the remainder of the garden and stew the tomatoes, freeze the corn and beans and store the root vegetables.

Each day on our farm, we had to make the treck up the small hill (a large mountain to 5 year olds) to collect the eggs and check on the chickens.  The extra eggs were washed and stored in huge crates to cart in to the Purina Feed store to sell.  In the spring we excitedly picked out some beautiful peeping little chicks to bring home under a heat lamp and prepare for the next season of hens and roosters.

In the summer plump juicy peaches, apples and plums would arrive on our small fruit trees, and when we were outside playing, that was our snack.  Partly because we were too busy to run into the house and partly because it was so delicious.  The juice would run down our chins and yes, we’d wipe our mouths with our hands on our clothes! and run off to play another game of hide and seek or making mud pies.

Up the even bigger hill was dad with the dairy cows…his girls.  He knew each one of 100 cows by name…or number.  The fresh milk was brought down to our table, each day along with the cream which was scooped off by mom to make dessert or some yummy sauce.  Each of us had a big glass of milk at each meal, sometimes two!

I had no idea we were being “organic” or being raised up to be healthy kids.  There were never chips or pop or candy around the house.  That only came during the holidays as something special.  If we were hungry, we made a sandwich with mom’s homemade bread; which we thought wasn’t as cool as store bought bread.

We didn’t have money for a lot toys, so we had to play outside rain, snow or sunshine, we were out from under mom’s feet!  We went on wild adventures into the woods, which was a few trees on the far end of the field and built ships to sail the high seas, which was a couple boards nailed together to float out on the creek.  And let’s not forget the excitement of catching some tadpoles swimming around in the pond to bring home and surprise dad with in the watering tank for the cows. I don’t remember ever being sick or bored.  Of course we weren’t allowed to be bored because if we ever said the word – mom had a chore that we could do, which usually involved cleaning.  Run!

When I got married and moved off the farm, I took to shopping at grocery stores.  All I know is that I loved not having to garden anymore when I had my kids.  It was great to be able to shop anytime I wanted and didn’t have to be out in the garden.  Now, I wish I had my garden!  I wouldn’t have to pay for organic, grass fed, raw milk, and free range chickens.  And I’d probably be a lot healthier.  Guess it’s time to make a few changes.  I’m so thankful to my parents for their hard work in starting out my life in such a healthy way.

Pesticides on Fruits and Vegetables?

In a search to be as healthy as I can, I keep reading more and more about the dangers of the food we eat!  From the corn in our tortillas to the grapes in our wine to the coffee in my cup (Not my coffee!!) – there is poison everywhere!

I know I’m sounding like a fear monger, but what does it take to get me to change my ways?  I’m seeing so many of my dear friends and family become so sick they are having huge health problems and the doctors cannot fix it.  Could some of it be due to the way our foods are being grown?  A few days ago I checked out a website called Environmental Working Group.  It is the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization.

Their report was shocking.  “This year we have expanded the Dirty Dozen™ with a Plus category to highlight two crops — green beans and leafy greens, meaning, kale and collard greens – that did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but were commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides. These insecticides are toxic to the nervous system and have been largely removed from agriculture over the past decade. But they are not banned and still show up on some food crops.

Here’s a list of dangerous fruits and vegetables according to this group.  If we eat many off of this list, we are exposed to too many pesticides that can harm our nervous system, even if we wash them.

The Dirty Dozen from the worst to the least(nonorganic):

1.    Apples (what!  How many of those do I have a day?)

2.    Celery

3.    Sweet Bell Peppers

4.     Peaches

5.     Strawberries

6.     Nectarines (imported)

7.     Grapes (including wine and raisins)

8.     Spinach

9.     Lettuce

10.  Cucumbers

11.  Blueberries

12.  Potatoes (French fries? Sad)


The Cleanest fruits and vegetables (non organic)

1.   Onions

2.   Sweet Corn

3.   Pineapples

4.   Avocado

5.   Cabbage

6.   Sweet Peas

7.   Asparagus

8.   Mangoes

9.   Eggplant

10.  Kiwi

11.  Cantaloupe (domestic)

12.  Sweet Potatoes

13.  Grapefruit

14.  Watermelon

15.  Mushrooms

Genetically Modified Foods

I’m sure you may even have heard about foods being genetically modified as well.  About 90% of all soy is now genetically modified.   Add that to a study that was done on rats that showed tumors developing after a year and a half of eating genetically modified foods…  How many foods on our store shelves have GMO corn and soy in them?  What if we were to look at our breakfast cereals?  How many cows, chickens and pigs that we eat the meat from were raised on GMO feed?

All I’m sayin is when I grew up, some of the illnesses that are happening now did not happen then.  I understand that many of these changs started happening in the 1960’s and have only become greater and greater in our daily food and we had no idea.

What Can We Do?

Now, what good does it do to talk about what I used to do, when we are in the society we are in today?  What CAN people eat, what can people do?  I say, just do one thing.  Begin the journey.  Get educated.  Also, Check out my blog Grow Your Own Garden with the Oakes family to see what some people have done.

Look at your week and take some time to start planting.  It’s spring!  Go to the garden stores and get inspired.  If nothing else, at least buy organic.  You don’t have to wake up with an entire new life.  Just wake up determined to change one thing.

Growers aren’t out to “get” us, the people that created GMO’s were looking for a way to get crops to yield bigger and better crops and to make more money.  But let’s not just close our eyes and say “It’s too much to think about”.  Yes, you certainly have the option to not think about it if you want to, but then don’t complain if these types of foods make you ill.  You get to make the choice.

Where Can I Go For Information?

Here’s some tips on places to get educated:

I am reading a book called The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies”.    She has an amazing story of stunning recovery by juicing and can tell you everything you wanted to know about food.

If you want more information on the list of good and bad foods, you can go to

The Health Ranger sends me updates ever week about the latest investigative reporting on foods that are bad for you and what you can do.  He also sells herbal products online.

A local friend Rhonda Nelson has information on how to heal your body naturally:

Another local Dr. Bessie Jo Tillman, has a website on alternative ways to heal our bodies.  Here’s a little quote from her personal story of going from an emergency room doctor to an alternative doctor:

“Modern medicine is fantastic for trauma treatment and infectious disease. It falls short in prevention and reversal of heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, obesity, cancer and other degenerative disorders.

I loved helping people in those facilities, but I felt more could be done to prevent the suffering many patients experienced from preventable, reversible degeneration of their bodies. I began my quest for root causes of disease rather than just continuing to treat the ‘end of the road’ symptoms.”

 Want to start a garden?

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