Do you know what you’re eating?

Spring is the time I start to think about what salad, fruit and veggies we’re going to grow at home each year. I’m not what you’d call a keen gardener, but I place great importance on my children knowing where their food comes from. I’m also very aware of the amount of pesticides sprayed on our food. Do you know what you’re eating?


Each year an organisation called the Pesticide Action Network publishes a list of fresh UK produce that contain the highest amount of pesticide residue on them. The top dozen commonly contains some of the fresh food we consume the most of. This years worst offenders are

  1. Peaches and nectarines
  2. Grapes
  3. Strawberries
  4. Cherries
  5. Spinach


PAN also published a highlight (or lowlight!) on the chemicals they found on grapes. There were 47 different substances found on our grapes. Amongst them, they discovered carcinogens – cancer causing chemicals, endocrine disrupters – which cause all manner of health issues and also chemicals that aren’t approved for use in the UK. It’s not a pretty picture is it?


While I can confidently say I save people money through the simple tips I share in my RAMP up your Sustainability program, I don’t suggest you should scrimp on the quality of the fresh food you buy. The key is to make sure you don’t waste any food. If you’re unable to afford to buy organic for all your fresh produce, maybe start with the items you buy from the Dirty Dozen list.


I cannot emphasise enough the importance of growing some of your own food at home. There are many many benefits from growing your own – even if that means a couple of strawberry plants in your windowsill.

There are mycobacterium in soil that boosts your serotonin levels – which basically means getting your hands dirty is scientifically proven to make you feel happier.

Growing your own food also gives you more of an appreciation of the effort that goes in to growing the food we buy – meaning we’re less likely to waste it. And the satisfaction you feel from being able to pick your home grown food a few minutes before you eat it cannot be beaten!

And knowing that the food you’ve grown isn’t covered in dozens of harmful chemicals so you know exactly what you’re eating, means you’re happier and healthier and confident you’re looking after yourself and your family.