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Monday, August 15, 2011

I Am Celery


Our guest blogger is  Jennifer Taylor, actress, mother and Healthy Child Healthy World Luminary Board member.

Everyone has heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” but have you ever really thought about what that actually means? There have been times in my life where I was “potato chip on white bread sandwich”. I have also been “box of Devil Dogs” and “cup o’noodle soup”. Not some of my proudest decades to be sure. Even now, when I am doing everything in my power to eat organically and gently force my family into my camp, sometimes I am “three slices of key lime pie”.

I had some celery today, so in essence, I am “celery”. Now, if it had been non-organic celery, it would be more accurate for me to say that I am celery and acephate and boscalid and chlorothanlonil and dicloran and malathion, and fludioxonil and DCPA and about 60 more chemicals. Ugh! Are you kidding me? Almost makes the Devil Dog days seem healthy.

My kids love to do the science experiment where you put red food coloring in some water and watch the celery turn red. It’s really cool to see how the color travels up the stalk. But then I think about those 60-some odd chemicals on the leaves and in the ground that my celery is soaking up. So even if we wash the celery really well, it won’t take off all those nasty chemicals it leached out of the ground.

Celery has been getting a lot of bad press lately about all these pesticides and residues detected in samples. I looked up a document from the USDA Pesticide Data Program (Annual Summary, 2008). You can read all 202 pages of it for yourself at USDA Pesticide Data 2008. It’s boring, confusing, and frightening at the same time. Out of 741 samples of celery there were 3,821 residue detections and 54 different pesticides found (page 28). That’s a whole lot of things I don’t want to be. But celery in its natural state is really good for you. It is high in vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, fiber, and even calcium.

I’m not a perfect eater. Never have been. Never will be. But if I really am what I eat, I’m going to have to go with celery. And I want it pesticide free, so I am going to choose organic every time. Then maybe I won’t feel ridiculously guilty when I am “Seven chocolate chip cookies.”

This originally appeared on Jennifer’s new blog, Crazy Food Chick.

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Photo: iStockphoto

Posted by: WebMD Blogs at 7:51 am

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