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Apr 4, 2012 07:31 PM

Why I’m done with berries and grapes out of season.

I’m a fruit fanatic. Usually a fruit cup and smoothie at breakfast and fruit snacks throughout the day. Dilligently cleaning them before eating.

This past week I had a headache and nausea (rare). I knew it was something I ate and thru the process of elimination figured out it was the strawberries and grapes grown outside the US. The pesticides were imbedded and could not be washed off.

While I would love to buy all organic, this is not practical. I mourn the loss of having fresh strawberries and grapes in March. But the physical risk is too high. Thankfully there’s a variety of fruit to choose from so I’ve made adjustments. It’s too bad that food that’s supposed to be healthy is full of toxins.

Anything you want to get off your chest?

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  1. I'm not sure you can get a headache from pesticides. Cancer, maybe.

    2 Replies
    1. re: eethan

      I agree with eethan. I just don't know if it would be possible to eat enough pesticide-treated fruit for the levels to cause acute problems like what you are describing but I could be wrong.

      I'm not defending pesticides, they definitely can cause long-term problems with high levels of exposure but usually it effects the field workers who are exposed to high levels all day for years, and those who live near the fields.

      1. re: AeroDoe

        I can believe the headache. There are chemically sensitive people who get headaches or rashes from very low levels of pesticides in the environment. One person in my town caught the weed commissioner spraying where he wasn't supposed to, because she was having reactions (scandal!). I also have a friend whose mouth goes numb if she eats non-organic berries. She ate some pie I had made and could tell that the berries were not organic. I'm not sure if this is true for her for all fruit, or if berries are more absorbent or harder to clean or something. So anyway... some people can react pretty strongly to low levels of contact.

    2. Headache and nausea....of all the things you could come into contact in a week, including all sorts of germs and viruses in your local environment, you pin it on pesticides grown outside of the US? Interesting take on it. I would assume something much more local. As to out-of-season fruits for smoothies, you might want to look at frozen.

      1. I've recently read that grapes, grown anywhere, contain the highest level of toxins of any fruit. It's due to the number of years the same vines are able to produce, building up toxins over the years. Could you have gotten a high dose or be sensitive to what the vines picked up from the soil? Surely, but I think it's a risk you'll be taking from grapes in or out of season, grown anywhere, in any grape product, including wine.

        Strawberries in February now, meh. The first carton I bought this year was so woody they barely mascerated after three days. It'll be a while before I buy strawberries again this year.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RelishPDX

          Oh, that's so sad: toxins building up in the grape vines. It's like chemo settling permanently in your bones. Sigh.

        2. I mourn the loss of having fresh strawberries and grapes in March


          i mourn the availability of flavorless fruit out of season to my region and flown 1000s of miles from place of origin. i do keep frozen berries around, but it would never occur to me to be buying strawberries right now.

          however, i agree with the others that your discomfort was likely not from systemic pesticide residue.

          1. Berries freeze really well. If you can spare the freezer space I'd recommend buying a large amount of local berries when in season and freeze them. You can freeze whole berries or slice them up with a bit of sugar and lemon. Yeah, they're not fresh but they're still way better than the lousy out-of-season ones at the grocery, and they'll be great in smoothies.