Pesticides and Produce

September 1, 2012 8:56:04 AM PDT
The recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables is nothing new. However, a report from the CDC showed that less than 1/3 of Americans are consuming the minimum 5 servings per day.

Also, Americans are increasingly concerned about pesticide residues in food. In fact, research conducted in 2010 showed about 60 percent of consumers are "highly concerned." And reports about the dangers of pesticides from the media and certain groups can promote mixed messages, and sometimes even scary messages. This unfortunately may result in people eating fewer fruits and vegetables. Melissa Joy Dobbins, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, joined ABC 7 in-studio to share some tips for enjoying more fruits and vegetables.

The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables is well established. They may reduce your risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, some cancers and digestive problems. These benefits far outweigh any minute risk of exposure to pesticides.

Most people don't realize that ALL produce should be washed with water (water only ? no soap) and scrubbed with a fruit/vegetable brush. This applies even if the produce is organic! For more information visit:

1. Follow these tips for getting more fruits and vegetables in your diet: You don't have to rely on fresh produce alone. Use frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables to help supplement your fresh produce. This is a great way to get the nutrients you need while saving money and minimizing waste. For more information visit:

2. Don't hide your produce away in the crisper drawer ? wash and prep them right away and display prominently on your kitchen counter or on a shelf in the refrigerator.

3. Be adventurous - try new or different types of fruits and vegetables than you normally choose, or try different preparation methods such as roasting vegetables or grilling fruit.

Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad recipe
(from the new book "The Plant-Powered Diet" by Sharon Palmer, RD)

More tips for fruits and vegetables:

Choose My Plate - Ten Tips Series:

Add More Vegetables to Your Day:

Focus on Fruits:

Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits:

Liven Up Your Meals with Vegetables and Fruits:

Kid-friendly Veggies and Fruits:

More information on pesticides:

Melissa founded Sound Bites, Inc. where she promotes "sound science, smart nutrition and good food." She teaches at Kendall College Culinary School and is a Health Coach for Interactive Health Solutions. You can follow Melissa on Twitter at: @MelissaJoyRD.

For more information on nutrition and health, visit

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