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The Dirty Truth About Your Fruits and Veggies

Almost all plants live (or spend some time) on the ground before they end up in stores for us to buy and eat. Between bacteria, viruses, and just plain dirt, the food you buy in stores often carries more than just nutrients into your body. That's why it's a good idea to wash your produce.

But what about pesticides, isn't that a good reason to wash your produce, too?

Well, sure, it won't hurt, but consider this:

There are many ethical issues regarding the use of pesticides, such as the environmental impacts as well as how they impact the native flora and fauna. While pesticides can also help to protect our food supply, many people are concerned about pesticides on the food they eat. Small amounts of pesticide residues may stay in or on our food after it is applied, but pesticides do 'break down' over time, meaning very little residue is left by the time we eat the food.

The rate of 'break down' depends on the type of pesticide used, the application conditions, and the type of food treated. So, the amount and nature of pesticide residue can be different from one pesticide or food type to another.

The Government of Canada uses compliance and enforcement activities to make sure producers properly use and apply pesticides and respect established residue limits. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) monitors and enforces residue limits in both domestic and imported foods. The CFIA reports that over the last 10 years, residue data shows that the compliance rate is consistently very high for fresh fruits a