Everyone knows the maxim “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Chances are, you’ve even packed one of these luscious fruits for lunch today. However, Bryan Walsh wrote an article for Time.com that casts doubt on the wisdom of this age-old saying:

If the apple you had for lunch seems almost too perfect, you can thank the chemical industry. Conventional farmers use pesticides liberally in their orchards, in part to prevent blemishes that can hurt the value of their product. As a result, Americans have come to assume that apples should be as taut and unblemished as a supermodel’s face—a plastic perfection you wouldn’t often see in unimproved nature. But perfection isn’t free. According to a new survey by the green activists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), apples are the most contaminated produce on average, with pesticides showing up on 98% of the more than 700 apple samples tested.

Just how many chemicals are used to keep apples red and tempting? According to WhatsOnMyFood.org, about 47. Of these, six are known carcinogens, five are neurotoxins, six are developmental or reproductive toxins, and 16 are suspected hormone disruptors. apples can be tainted with pesticides Apples aren’t the only fruits laced with chemicals, though. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), other popular fruits like strawberries, peaches, grapes, blueberries, and nectarines are pumped full of pesticides, too. Of course, fruits are key components of a healthy diet, so simply not eating them is certainly out of the question. Peeling fruits prior to consumption can be an alternative, but some, like apples, tend to be more nutritious when eaten with the skin. You can also wash produce, which many people do, but doing so might not remove all of the pesticides present on the rind. Given the dangers pesticides pose to humans, you’re probably wondering how to wash fruits and vegetables properly so that no harmful substances make it to your plate. Fortunately, companies like iGozen offer an organic fruit and vegetable wash that can solve this dilemma. Made from seashell and sea salt, its microfine particles penetrate the surfaces of produce to safely remove pesticides and toxins. Since the product’s main ingredient is calcium, it’s perfectly safe to use on your family’s food. Thanks to products like it, you can enjoy all the health benefits of fruits and vegetable without worrying about the pesticides used on them. (Source: Apples Can Be Tainted With Pesticides—But You Still Need Your Fruits and Vegetables, Time.com, June 13, 2011)