Blue Berries Are Good For You – But Are They Safe for you to eat? …and more…

Last week blueberries were on sale, so I bought the maximum number of little plastic boxes full of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and potassium with few calories to enjoy in a variety of ways. I was certain that our family meals would be nutritious – and they are, but, you cannot peel the pesticides out of a blueberry.

After reading a WebMD article written by Jay Croft from one of my email subscriptions – ugh! I doubted my choice. Of course, No Non-cents Nanna had to write a post about blueberries, pesticides, and creepy crawly invisible bacteria.

This post is not about just blueberries. Here’s some food for thought to more closely examine: I will be covering all kinds of reasons our fresh fruit or vegetables can be toxic contaminated. (See the definition of “toxic” below.)

Now, what is a grandmother supposed to do?


Yum! Dirty Dozen Salad No Non-cents Nanna

Please don’t turn to the crinkly packages with the required nutrition labels instead of good old-fashioned fruit picked off the trees and veggies pulled from the dirt in despair. We have some critical thinking to do as we examine fresh fruits and veggies, germs, toxic organic compounds, and pesticides.

All the food images in this post were actually made and eaten by No Non-cents Nanna and her family.


This post is intended for informational purposes only. All block quotes are inserted for informational purposes only under the Fair Use Act. The information presented here in should not be substituted as medical or legal advice. 

We have a problem: We need solutions.

So what else can be so bad about natural food that does not come in a crinkle package labeled with how much fat and excess salt is added?

Bug spray of the toxic kind:——-Oh MY!

f you are reading No Non-cents Nanna for the first time, I will warn you – my posts are long and well-researched with the potential to be researched further. I try to break things down for ease of understanding so often that it will seem like I have chased a rabbit all over the garden while baking a carrot pie. I stop to provide definitions as well as additional side-track thoughts. 

I hope you gain some new knowledge from this adventure.

Some of the pesticides are banned in the United States or Europe because of potential danger.

“Despite the abundance of science linking exposure to pesticides with serious health issues, a potentially toxic cocktail of concerning chemicals continues to taint many of the non-organic fruits and vegetables eaten by consumers,” said Alexis Temkin, PhD, an EWG toxicologist, in a press release.


According to the article titled Blueberries, Green Beans Join Environmental Group’s ‘Dirty’ List, the FDA and Agriculture Department have been busy doing their jobs thus declaring the need for more regulations.*

REGULATIONS!? Please don’t shoot the messenger – let me explain why I think this is a good idea to have some government agency regulate the limit of toxic waste that can be allowed in our food. Who else will step up to America’s dinner plates to set boundaries thus preventing those entities only interested in a quick buck?

If the truth is told, using pesticides, meant to kill pests, is a far more productive way to get good crop yields in substandard soil. While solely organic-grown fruits and vegetables take more effort to grow nutrient-dense crops – it costs more in the long run.


Green Beans are on the Dirty Dozen List

Helping in the kitchen to snap fresh green beans is a fun learning experience. No Non-cents Nanna

*The group says its findings, based on tests by the FDA and Agriculture Department, highlight a need for more regulations and oversight of pesticides use in growing food crops.

Information was compiled from more than 46,000 samples of 46 kinds of fruits and vegetables – and covered 251 pesticides.

EWG says people should buy organically grown items from the Dirty Dozen

 What is the Dirty Dozen?

Please note the Dirty Dozen LIST changes every year. Below I quote from a 2018 Healthline article. However, I received the updated list in my email today, March 24, 2023…update coming up…


Sep 5, 2018 · By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD — Updated on September 5, 2018

The Dirty Dozen is a list of fruits and vegetables with the highest level of pesticide residues created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to educate the public on food safety.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating the public on issues like agricultural practices, natural resource protection, and the impact of chemicals on human health (2).

EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ is here, and the results are shocking!
Yet again, strawberries top EWG’s Dirty Dozen™ list. We found 22 different pesticides on a single strawberry sample!

See the full list of fruits and vegetables we recommend you buy organic when possible, because they’re less likely to have traces of pesticides:

Since 1995, the EWG has released the Dirty Dozen — a list of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residues.

  1. strawberries;
  2. spinach;
  3. kale,
  4. collard and mustard greens;
  5. peaches;
  6. pears;
  7. nectarines;
  8. apples; grapes,
  9. bell and hot peppers;
  10. cherries;
  11. blueberries;
  12. green beans.


Don’t dismay, there are fresh foods that are “clean” to eat. I’m not referring to being already washed. But with fewer pesticides absorbed.

And wouldn’t it be great if everyone everywhere could grow every fruit and vegetable that they want in their own organic garden? It is not going to happen.

Before you read the List for the CLEAN 15, think about what could protect the inside of a fruit or veggie from pesticides. What do they have in common? (Turn on those critical thinking gears…)

“Clean 15” list of the non-organically grown fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticides.

  1. avocados;
  2. sweet corn;
  3. pineapple;
  4. onions;
  5. papaya;
  6. sweet peas (frozen);
  7. asparagus;
  8. honeydew melon;
  9. kiwi;
  10. cabbage;
  11. mushrooms;
  12. mangoes;
  13. sweet potatoes;
  14. watermelon;
  15. carrots.



Don’t be scared to eat fresh fruits and vegetables – you CAN be more prepared to make your food safer. Keep in mind that there are greater restrictions and regulations on American food production ________

“Choosing organic fruits and vegetables can almost immediately reduce the amounts of residues in a person’s body, because the harmful chemicals used on non-organic, or conventional, produce are no longer a factor.” did all the work of gathering the following information on what peels you can eat and those that you cannot eat.- I just copy and pasted it after reading their publication. Please note that the list can change from year to year based on research done by professionals outstanding in the fields. (chuckle)

Which peels are safe to eat?

Some peels are safe to eat, while others may not be.

The lists below provide summaries of which common fruits and vegetables should be peeled and which do not have to be.

Inedible peels:

  • avocado
  • citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, etc.)
  • garlic
  • hard winter squash
  • melon
  • onion
  • tropical fruits (lychee, pineapple, papaya, etc.)


Why eat fresh peels? What kinds of peels can you eat?

  • The skin or peel of fruits and vegetables are generally higher in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than the flesh, according to Malina Malkani, RDN, creator of the Wholitarian Lifestyle. Unpeeled fruits and vegetables may have up to 33 percent more fiber than those without the peel.


You most likely knew what kind of fruits and veggies have edible peels. Just remember to wash those fresh foods times well in non-contaminated running water.

Which times in this salad below may be on the Dirty Dozen list?


No Non-cents Nanna salad with brown rice, grapes, kale, olive oil, and lime juice.

Edible peels:

  • apple
  • apricot
  • asparagus
  • banana
  • berries
  • carrot
  • cherries
  • citrus fruits (grated or cooked)
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • grape
  • kiwi
  • mushroom
  • parsnip
  • pea
  • peach
  • pear
  • pepper
  • plum
  • potato
  • squash (if well cooked)
  • zucchini

Peels are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants…

Some fruits and vegetables have tough peels that can be difficult to clean, hard to digest, bitter-tasting…



Lettuce, tomato, and zucchini are on the Dirty Dozen Tested list, but..- read No Non-cents Nanna for the list.

Tested for, but not on either list

“These 19 items were included in the fruit and vegetable testing data from the USDA and FDA but do not fall into either the Dirty Dozen or Clean Fifteen lists.”

  1. tomato
  2. winter squash
  3. celery
  4. cherry tomatoes
  5. potatoes
  6. lettuce
  7. tangerines
  8. cucumbers
  9. broccoli
  10. summer squash (zucchini)
  11. plums
  12. grapefruit
  13. raspberries
  14. eggplant
  15. snap peas
  16. oranges
  17. canteloupe
  18. bananas
  19. cauliflower


Does washing your apples remove toxic pesticides?
-see post on No Non-cents Nanna


What may help reduce toxic pesticide residue on fresh fruit or veggies?

Does adding baking soda to your apple rinse water help to remove pesticide residue?

I cannot promise, but according to research, baking soda may help reduce pesticide residue. See the block quote below.

Prepper families, do you know what this means? Yes, stock up on bigger bags of baking soda.

Rinsing That Apple Off with Water Might Not Be Good Enough

Rinsing an apple under the kitchen tap may remove dirt.

However, new research suggests that adding baking soda to the water is the best way to remove pesticide residue.

The researchers from the University of Massachusetts compared three different methods for washing apples.

In this study, He and her colleagues sought to examine the best method to remove such pesticides. Click HERE to read how this study was conducted.


But wait. There’s more. Don’t forget the bacteria contamination – coming up…

Did you see this post on things you need to know about contaminated tap water? (There is a BONUS on Latin origins of chemicals.)

Germs in your water pipes Ewww! -and Latin Meanings


Since organic produce is often more expensive than conventional produce, it can be hard for many people to afford.

What is a nutritious minded prepper family to do?

Don’t worry if you’re unable to purchase organic versions of the Dirty Dozen.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables far outweighs the risk of pesticide residues on produce, and there are ways to reduce these residues.


Check out what the government agency the EPA controls…

(Control the food- control the people”…)

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment by developing and enforcing regulations, providing grants, studying environmental issues, sponsoring partnerships, publishing information, and educating the public.

The EPA was established in 1970 to consolidate federal research, conduct program monitoring, and establish standards and enforcement to ensure environmental protection.

  • All pesticides are reviewed and registered by the EPA prior to sales and distribution in the United States.
  • In addition to the federal process, each state government has its own review process for new pesticide products.
  • A product approved by the EPA must also be registered in the state.


Not again! Blueberries and green beans made the Dirty Dozen list in 2023? Buying certified organic brands should reduce contamination from high doses of pesticides. Pay your money – make your choice – most likely the organic varieties will have more dense nutritional value for your buck. – If the organic brand is out of your budget and you cannot find a reasonable way to stretch the organic fresh produce – then just be sure you wash your produce well. (Please do not feel bad or condemned if the organic is out of reach for your budget. Just do the best you can with the choices available.)

What would happen if you grew your own green beans? How much space would you need? 

Are there any avid gardeners who would like to weigh in on this in the comment section?

Is your climate suitable for a good blueberry harvest in your growing zone? You will have to research that for your specific zone.

What Grow Zone are you in?

Nearly 75 percent of non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful pesticides, EWG’s 2023 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ finds. I

… this year’s guide, blueberries and green beans join our Dirty Dozen™ list of the 12 fruits and vegetables sampled that have the highest traces of pesticides.



Oh My! Our Food Has Chemicals!

The above portion of this blog/ vlog listed the top 12 most likely food that will have pesoticide residue.

Did you assume that pesticides are always “man-made – chemical”?

Organic gardeners can use natural pest repellents. I understand that more often than not, the healthier the soil, the more “strength” an organic plant has to resist those plant-eating bugs.

For those of you who have organic gardens, we would love to know the secret, first hand, to your success on 1 or 2 itmes of produce from your garden.


I am convinced that most people are confused about the word, “chemical” and a few other related topics.

Examples: “Don’t put chemicals into your body.” “Doctors prescribe drugs. They want you to put chemicals into your body.” ” Use only natural- chemical-free herbs or you will die!”


News flash! We all are going to die one day no matter what you eat or don’t eat. – that is all your choice. I hope you make good choices. There is no better time than this week, to work on boosting the nutritional value of your food that is right for you. I am not a dietitian.

My preference is to live a quality life before it is my time to go… And by the way, no matter how healthy I eat, if there is a reckless driver on the road not paying attention to pedestrians in the crosswalk, do you think that the driver will take a moment to choose the pedestrian who only eats organic?

I don’t think a reckless driver stops to think.

Or will he/she hit the one who lives on beer and pretzels? Are you understanding my snark?

Take time to smell the coffee – enjoy life. Don’t be so uptight if your 6-year-old wants a birthday cake like everyone else in their classroom. Do you know?


Think about it. (someone has to say this. Why not No Non-cents Nanna?)


We’ve got some more critical thinking to do about what a chemical is. Some of you will be surprised. While others will be angry at me for exposing some of their manipulative words. Think about it while we look more closely at the word, “Chemical”.

HINT: Everything is made up of chemicals. But don’t just take my word for it.

chemical is a basic substance that is used in or produced by a reaction that involves changes to atoms and molecules (Cambridge).

All matter is made up of chemicals—the human body, plants, water, air, etc.

The word “chemical” is a broad term that is often used to narrowly imply a highly toxic substance.

This use of the word can be vague and confusing, as some chemicals are indeed toxic and harmful, while many other chemicals pose no risk and are essential for life.


Keep that definition of “chemical” in mind when you read the next quote.

SPOILER: Everything is made up of “chemicals” – chemical composition.

“Any chemical in large enough amounts can present risks to environmental and human health. In other words, “the dose makes the poison” (NPIC, 2018c).

The greater the exposure and the higher the toxicity, the greater the effects of the pesticide. This is called the dose-response relationship. “


What is your first reaction when I tell you even “natural” chemicals can be toxic as well?

(The FDA does not regulate foods- only drugs. The FDA may be the agency that regulates the kind of pesticides that can be safe for the environment.)


According to Ohio Line. edu there are seven kinds of pesticides. Some are “dirty”. While others are “natural”.

Types of Pesticides

Some are “dirty”. While others are “natural”.


  1. Synthetic pesticides – industrially manufactured.
  2. Conventional pesticides -active ingredients are generally produced synthetically
  3. Naturally occurring pesticides – 
  4. Biological control agents
  5. Biopesticides
  6. Reduced risk pesticides
  7. Minimal risk pesticides


For more in-depth information click HERE to read this fascinating resource:


I’ll repeat: the better your soil is with nutrients the better your crops can withstand those pesky pests that eat up your crops.


Question: Can we assume that “natural” pesticides are always safe to consume?

Leave a comment about what you think. We can see if I am preaching to the choice or if examining more closely has been a light bulb moment or not.

Brace yourself about natural pesticides…If you like the red letter statement you will love what No Non-cents Nanna dug up about toxic teas in another post. TBA


Natural Pesticides are NOT man-made, of course.

So, why, then are some countries whose government-mandated “organic only” starving for lack of food? (I do not mean this as negative – anti-organic…)

…natural pesticides are not synthetic.

  • tend to break down quickly in the environment, which reduces the risk of harm to non-target organisms..
  •  tend to be less potent than synthetic pesticides.
  • some naturally occurring substances are very toxic to humans and other non-target organisms.

For example, arsenic and nicotine sulfate are prohibited in certified organic production and are not registered for use in Ohio in conventional agriculture either due to their toxicity (NPIC, 2017a).

Personal protective equipment may be required by the label even for naturally occurring products.

Heads up: No Non-cents Nanna has another post on Arsenic in Baby Food.


Refer to countries whose laws pushed only organic. What happened when the switch is abrupt?

“A shift to better farming practices is possible, but Sri Lanka’s abrupt switch to organics offers a bitter lesson in how to change food systems in a sustainable way.”


  1. Jul 15, 2022 · But in the spring of 2021, President Rajapaksa made an unusual decision: He banned synthetic fertilizer and pesticide imports practically overnight, forcing Sri Lanka’s millions of farmers to go…

    … an estimated 300,000 protesters took over President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s home and offices and set fire to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s home. Rajapaksa resigned after fleeing the country, leaving Wickremesinghe as interim president.

    •  Kenny Torrella


Talk about fear of Absolute Government Control

There are consequences to “all or none”: “My way or NOT at all; Abrupt Change…


The next link to the block quote will lead you to the history of the Organic Agriculture Orgnaization of the United Nations:

  1. › organicag › oa-mandateOrganic Agriculture: Mandates and Reports

    Mandates and Reports.
    The birth, development and progress of the FAO Organic Agriculture Programme, guided by 190 member countries since 1999, have been implemented through the following mandates and mechanisms: The evolution of the Organic Agriculture Programme and Action Taken by FAO is being reported upon directly to the Director-General …


The US has “organic standards”. This is important to know. My blueberries that we are still chowing down on, came from Chile. Read the labels of the country of origin on the produce you buy.

Check out this “official website”: You will see an icon of the U. S. flag.

If you click on the clickable links on the USDA website you will be able to explore an enormous amount of regulations that must be met to meet the USDA standards. There is even a link to a Butter Color Guide image.
All the information is fact-based on the Government websites – not someone’s opinion. › services › organic-certificationHow Does USDA Assess Organic Equivalency with other Countries?

  • Like the U.S., many countries have their own organic standards and certification programs.
  • For organic businesses operating in multiple countries, this can mean they must maintain different organic certifications in each country where they operate.
  • Organic equivalency is when two countries recognize each other’s organic program as being …


The USDA grade shields, official seals and labels are reputable symbols of the quality and integrity of American agricultural products. Large-volume buyers such as grocery stores, military institutions, restaurants, and even foreign governments use the quality grades as a common “language,” making business transactions easier.

The USDA shields and labels assure consumers that the products they buy have gone through a rigorous review process by highly-skilled graders & auditors that follow the official grade standards and process standards developed, maintained and interpreted by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Learn more about our labels, download our labeling fact sheet.

U.S. Grade Standards for fruits are voluntary and provide the fruit, vegetable and specialty crop industry with a uniform language for describing the quality and condition of commodities in the marketplace.

For more information on U.S. Standards and the development and revision process see the Fact Sheet titled U.S. GRADE STANDARDS for Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, and Other Specialty Products (pdf)

American (Eastern Type) Bunch Grapes for Processing and Freezing Grades and Standards
American (Eastern Type) Bunch Grapes Grades and Standards
Apple Butter Grades & Standards
Apple Grades & Standards
Apples for Processing Grade Standards
Apricot Grades and Standards
Bananas Inspection Instructions
Berries for Processing Grade Standards
Blueberries for Processing Grade Standards
Blueberries Grade and Standards
California and Arizona Grapefruit Grades and Standards
California and Arizona Orange Grades and Standards
Canned Apple Grades and Standards
Canned Apple Juice Grades and Standards
Canned Applesauce Grades and Standards
Canned Apricots Grades and Standards
Canned Blackberries Grades and Standards
Canned Blueberries Grades and Standards
Canned Clingstone Peaches Grades and Standards
Canned Cranberry Sauce Grades and Standards

The above links are all clickable. For your best research results, please go directly the websites. But, for now, you can check out a few standards of your choice to see what the USDA expects fo foods shipped into the United States. Be aware that most of our produce is not “home-grown”.

Why do you think that is? Leave a comment.


The USDA even has a pdf for visual aid in produce inspection: Official Inventory of FV Inspection Aids.pdf

Another link to a 2022 article on Sri Lankan consequences of forced organic agriculture. It is more complex than meets the eye.

You cannot rush any transition. Transitions are challenging and painful…and they can be done…



  • Oct 19, 2022 · The Sikkim Government is the first government in the world to achieve its vision of 100% certified organic farmland state-wide. As we grapple with the climate, water and biodiversity

    …The head of the Sikkim Government, Pawan Chamling, announced his vision for Sikkim to be the world’s first organic state in 2003, and it wasn’t just greenwash. Chamling and his government backed up these words with action. They mandated the phase-out of agrichemicals, and implemented it gradually, but firmly. The phase-out was supported by the state’s organic road map, a fully funded and concrete transition plan detailing all the actions the Government would take to help farmers wean off pesticides and synthetic fertilisers…


Caution: ALWAYS read the labels when using pesticides. Even if your choice of pesticides is from Natural Sources – READ the Label and follow the directions for safety.



Look for Signal Words


Pesticide labels are required to have a signal word—a word in large print that describes the toxicity of that particular pesticide product.

The signal word will be “caution,” “warning,” or “danger” (NPIC, 2018c).

Caution means low toxicity, warning means moderate toxicity, and danger means high toxicity.

If the EPA has determined that a pesticide is “practically non-toxic,” the product is not required to have a signal word on the label. For more information on toxicity, see the NPIC website for fact sheets about active ingredients:



Arsenic is a natural component of the earth’s crust and is widely distributed throughout the environment in the air, water and land. It is highly toxic in its inorganic form. People are exposed to elevated levels of inorganic arsenic through drinking contaminated water, using contaminated water in food preparation and irrigation of food crops, indu…

See full list on

Drinking-water and food

The greatest threat to public health from arsenic originates from contaminated groundwater.

Inorganic arsenic is naturally present at high levels in the groundwater of a number of countries, including

  1. Argentina,
  2. Bangladesh,
  3. Cambodia,
  4. Chile,
  5. China,
  6. India,
  7. Mexico,
  8. Pakistan,
  9. the United States of America
  10. and Viet Nam.


Drinking-water, crops irrigated with contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water are the sources of exposure.

Fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals can also be dietary sources of arsenic, although exposure from these foods is generally much lower compared to exposure through contaminated groundwater.

In seafood, arsenic is mainly found in its less toxic organic form.

Industrial processes

Arsenic is used industrially as an alloying agent, as well as in the processing of

  1. glass,
  2. pigments,
  3. textiles,
  4. paper,
  5. metal adhesives,
  6. wood preservatives
  7. and ammunition.

Arsenic is also used in the hide tanning process and, to a limited extent, in pesticides, feed additives and pharmaceuticals.


It looks like We the People need stricter regulations on manufactured goods that will end up in the landfills.

BTW arsenic ends up in baby food – USDA is making stricter guidelines. See more related No Non-cents Nanna posts.


What household items contain arsenic?

  • – Wallpaper. – Paint. – Weed killer. – Pesticides. – Textile printing. – Taxidermy. – Tanning products.

Why is my rice sticking to the pot?

What is arsenic and can it harm you?

  • Arsenic can cause serious effects of the neurologic, respiratory, hematologic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and other systems. Arsenic is a carcinogen in multiple organ systems.
  • Interindividual and population differences in arsenic methylation and nutritional status may be factors in susceptibility to arsenic toxicity.

What are the Physiologic Effects of Arsenic Exposure?


Let’s take a closer look at the chemical arsenic:


Everything has a chemical composition.



What does arsenic stand for?

  • Arsenic is a metalloid. Chemical element in the periodic table of elements.
  • Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As and atomic number 33. Additionally what is element on the periodic table. It has 38 protons and 38 electrons in the atomic structure.

What does ARSENIC stand for? – abbreviations

Why is arsenic can cause what cancer?

  • The most linked cancer types have been skin cancers, lung cancers, and urinary cancers and bladder cancers. Because squamous cells are particularly sensitive to having their DNA altered by arsenic exposure, any organ or location with squamous cells are at risk of cancer with high arsenic exposure.

The carcinogenicity of arsenic. – PMC


Simple Squamous Epithelium

Found in the capillary walls, body cavity linings, and lung alveoli, the simple squamous epithelium is only one cell thick. This means that gases, nutrients, and waste products can rapidly enter or exit underlying tissues via passive diffusion…

The squamous cell or squamous epithelial cell is found in the epithelium of the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and cornea, and in the endothelium of various organs and soft tissues.

.. squamous cell relates more to its shape than a specific function …

Squamous means scale-like, meaning these are flat cells…The single layer of simple squamous epithelium lines several organs and body cavities.

A squamous cell is one of three forms of epithelial cell … All epithelial cells fit tightly next to one another as their primary role is to protect underlying tissues from the external environment. As fluids cannot pass through the gaps between cells thanks to tight junctions, all molecules are forced to travel through epithelial cell membranes.

Now that is the very edited-down version of the kinds of skin tissues that can be affected by arsenic – for more details click and read from the regional source – one of many.



According to WHO:

“People who smoke tobacco can also be exposed to the natural inorganic arsenic content of tobacco because tobacco plants can take up arsenic naturally present in the soil. ”




Sep 11, 2022 · Nicotine is an addictive organic compound found in tobacco plants. It’s the chemical that makes smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and vaping so hard to quit. 

Nicotine is associated with many health risks and problems. Tobacco is linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs.

Nicotine is associated with many health risks and problems. Tobacco is linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs.” That is another example of what squamous tissue is that can be affected by nicotine and arsenic – both of which are “organic compounds.”

Note: I did not say, “organically grown”. I just want you all to be aware of the terminology you are using to persuade people to your way of thinking – which is fine – but how accurate are you?

Do you think that using buzzwords without understanding the full context makes ones more or less credible or trustworthy? Personally, I have to question more and more vloggers about whether or not they are giving information that they know what they are already talking about or not.

Think about it.


Here is another good reason to look at the USDA and FDA pages for all of your naturally organic backyard gardening.

(No Non-cents Nanna posts on groundwater contaminants.TBA)


The USDA compiles the National List of approved and prohibited substances that may be used in organic production.

The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) publishes a list of products allowed for use under the USDA National Organic Program. This list is publicly accessible online.

An important principle of certified organic production is to attempt to manage pests by alternative means before using approved pesticides.


Here is an exception to the “natural” chemical rule for organic gardening. I placed bullet points to highlight.

Most pesticides that are allowed in organic agriculture come from natural origins, not synthetic.

For example,

  • pyrethrins are naturally occurring compounds extracted from chrysanthemum plants,
  • while pyrethroids are synthetic compounds that mimic the activity of pyrethrins.


The chemical structures of pyrethroids were adapted by scientists from the chemical structures of pyrethrins found in nature.

While they operate similarly, pyrethrins are approved for organic agriculture because of their natural origins, while pyrethroids are not.


Now the phrase Chemical Plant comes to mind…but we are not talking about the same thing with this “non-cents”.)


School Lunch for the Kids Doom and Gloom

How many of your parents feel your family is safe when they eat fresh apples at school that are contaminated with arsenic? As if the idea of wiggly worms in your fruit isn’t gross enough – let’s go all the way to an apocalyptic reason why your kids need to stay home from school. (Gross exaggeration.)


Why not serve clean fresh fruits and veggies for school lunch? No Non-cents Nanna


“They” (The government agency under the Biden/Harris administration) want kids in school to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This presents some safety challenges.

(There is a link below for information on why families cannot can fresh fruits and vegetables at home for school lunch for the whole school. Yes, you can send whatever you want in a brown bag for your own kids. Right now, I aim to focus on school lunch programs or similar congregate meal programs.)

Again, in my opinion, I think a school lunch with fresh food is a terrific idea…but…things can go wrong… (Don’t be scared. Be prepared. We are talking about safety and prevention plans.)

What can go wrong with giving 500 kids fresh fruit in the school lunchroom?

All food needs to be stored correctly as well as washed properly or that good-for-you fruit can make a whole lot of folks sick. Yes, really.

Maybe at home, you know how to handle fresh bananas or strawberries safely. But, if you send your child to school with their digital lunch ticket, do you really know that the kitchen staff has not picked their nose or forgot to wash their hands after wiping…? (Gulp)

I referred to one of my favorite to-go-to resources for first-hand information: The USDA to ask: (GASP!)

(I know, you are among those red in the face over “Government Control – eek! It’s time to get those gears in your head turned on – we got some critical thinking to do…)


Are training materials available?

Yes, there are special training courses for people who handle fresh food for facilities.

Training materials and resources have been developed with the following federal agencies and partners:


Here is another example of “Government Involvement” in “controlling the food” our children eat. (Yes, I have twisted this with sarcasm.)

School lunch employees have training for the safety of the food they put on our kid’s lunch plates.

Question for you: Do you think there should be regulations for standards of food service? (Does “control the food – control the people,” apply here?)s

ICN’s research-based education and training resources are designed to help district school nutrition directors/supervisors, managers, and nutrition assistants/technicians meet the challenges of the day to day operations of successful school nutrition programs.


Important Side Track:

Why continue to gripe about the Government, when you can voice your opinion? (Is your opinion an informed opinion?)

There is no better time to speak up on how your tax dollars are spent…


Act Now: Two Key School Nutrition Bills Introduced in Congress

March 16, 2023

Read More

Hungry students can’t learn … access to nutritious meals at school is vital for children’s physical and mental development. Without adequate funding, school meal programs will suffer and children may go hungry.

This is a great resource to link when writing about the benefits/importance of school meals. [ND1]

Take action in support of increased federal reimbursements for school meals. Two new bills have been introduced in Congress that would provide crucial funding to school nutrition programs:

  • R. 1269, the “Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act,” introduced by Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), would permanently increase the federal reimbursement rate for all school lunches by 45 cents and school breakfast by 28 cents, with annual adjustments.
  • R. 1424, the “Helping Schools Feed Kids Act,” introduced by Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), would extend the increased reimbursement rate of 40 cents for lunch and 15 cents for breakfast, stipulated in the “Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022,” through SY2023-24.

These bills are urgently needed as the current reimbursement rates expire July 2023. A decrease in federal funding will ensure a failure to cover costs. This leaves school meal programs in crisis! Financial losses will cut into education budgets, impeding efforts to meet the needs of students and jeopardizing progress in school nutrition programs.

We need your help to urge Congress to support H.R. 1269 and H.R. 1424 and act on the other requests in the SNA 2023 Position Paper. Use the SNA Action Network, which allows you to contact your representatives directly with a pre-written message. All you need to do is fill in your contact information and hit send, and SNA can do the rest.

Act now to help support our children’s health and well-being and keep School Meal Programs viable!

“We need your help to urge Congress to support H.R. 1269 and H.R. 1424 and act on the other requests in the SNA 2023 Position Paper.”


Now back to our program…How about those blueberries?

Food safety:

So what IF food in an institution like a school has been recalled food? 

Look below at the 2nd on the list “Conducting a Mock Recall…”. While this is geared toward schools, you can see the effort that goes into a recall – our tax dollar at work. This is a sample of the training food service workers should know.

School nutrition program staff are responsible
for maintaining the safety and security of foods
once they are received and stored.

Maintaining the chain of custody also is an important
responsibility of school nutrition program
operators because it allows food products to
be traced one step back to the vendor and one
step forward to the consumer.

In the event of a recall, a food product must be traced to its
current location, and schools are to follow the
recall procedures outlined…


Use these resources to expand your knowledge about specific topics related to produce safety.



Who recalls all the food dumping sometime in 2020? It all had to do with a broken distribution chain. Most families, unless you were a Duggar, cannot eat an industrial size bag of salad, in a week, for example. The packaging portion size in the distribution size did not fit a bag of salad, for example with only 2 to 4 servings but maybe 50 to 100 servings.

People were dismayed and outraged that food was not taken to food banks or for school lunches.

Well, check this out for a pretty good explanation related to this post with blueberries in the title. I took the liberty to make bullet points on the briefly quoted publication from the USDA.


  • This document identifies food safety practices that should be adhered to by fresh-cut produce processors.
  • Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables are ready-to-eat items that have been cleaned, and then peeled, sliced,
    chopped, shredded, cored, or trimmed, but not cooked or frozen, before being packaged for consumer use.
  • These minimally processed fruits and vegetables pose a greater risk of causing food borne illness because
    the protective skin has been cut, thus exposing flesh and moisture that could serve as a growth medium for
  • If bacteria are present on the fruit or vegetable before fresh-cut processing, these bacteria could
    readily multiply on the cut surfaces and attach to the surface in the form of a biofilm.
  • Therefore, it is critical
    that fresh-cut processors follow proper food safety and sanitation procedures to prevent foodborne illness.

How much extra time and labor would it have taken to re-package the haul off to another place with a much smaller body count that a high school cafeteria?

Sure, a ook and all the servers could slop some pre-distributed food on one tray after another, but, would it be safely handled so that it would not make you or your child sick? there is a ton of coordinated effort – and at the time – who all was on Locke -down for you know cough-cough -what?

Not only does all of this product need to be properly washed before serving who si ogin to peel the carrots?

“While peeling fruits and vegetables appears to be a slightly more effective way to remove pesticides than washing alone, the difference is likely too small to make a true difference.”


Think about it.

I started with my 4 pints of blueberries, which I ate raw, made muffins, made pancakes, and added to fresh greens for salads and tossed with some vinegarette. Then I bulldozed this blog/vlog into the dirt with all kinds of germs, organic metals, and bug killers.

For now, I’m going to wash the last of the blueberries I have in my frig under running water and drain them well before I put them in my bowl. Then I will sit down to enjoy no salt added treat naturally chocked full of essential vitamins and minerals.

I’ll pick this series up in a later vlog.


Blueberries, Green Beans Join Environmental Group’s ‘Dirty’ List


Some of the pesticides are banned in the United States or Europe because of potential danger.
“Despite the abundance of science linking exposure to pesticides with serious health issues, a potentially toxic cocktail of concerning chemicals continues to taint many of the non-organic fruits and vegetables eaten by consumers,” said Alexis Temkin, PhD, an EWG toxicologist, in a press release.
“Pesticides are toxic by design, created expressly to kill living organisms – insects, plants and fungi considered ‘pests,’” EWG says. “But many pesticides pose health dangers to people, too, including cancer, hormone disruption, and brain and nervous system toxicity.
These hazards have been confirmed by independent scientists, physicians, and U.S. and international government agencies.
Most pesticide residues found by the USDA and FDA fall below government limits and are legal.
But legal limits don’t always indicate what’s safe for human consumption.”

Environmental Working Group: “EWG’s 2023 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™: Blueberries, green beans join the Dirty Dozen™”

I changed the font color above to green in order to highlight my source of information.

I want to challenge you, to always question a speaker as in a video or written publication where did they get their information? Are they citing their sources? How did they form their opinion? From facts of a reputable investigator or study? If not, it needs to be clear that the speaker/ content creator is voicing their OPINION. 


The USDA states, “Raw fruits and vegetables may contain harmful germs such as SalmonellaE. coli, and Listeria.”

You can click on the link to read about Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria as contaminants that cause food poisoning. But, do not fear, there are ways to clean your raw food to eliminate food-borne germs. That is a subject in another post. Do look for references with clickable links for your burning questions that cannot wait.


Overview (USDA)

Produce Safety

**Eating fruits and vegetables provides health benefits–like nutrients that can help protect you from some chronic diseases.

While eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential to a healthy diet, it’s important to select and prepare them safely.

Raw fruits and vegetables may contain harmful germs such as SalmonellaE. coli, and Listeria.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that germs on fresh produce cause approximately 46% of foodborne illnesses in the United States.

However, there are proven food safety practices–from growing to preparation to service–that can reduce risk of illness associated with fresh produce.

Act Now!

Ensuring the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables served in school meals is important whether they’re sourced from a large supplier or local farmer. FNS offers a variety of produce safety resources just for school nutrition professionals!

  • Check-out these produce safety resources, including fact sheets, videos, training materials, and Produce Safety University–an experiential learning program that immerses participants in the fresh produce supply chain.
  • Get support for local procurement with the Farm to School fact sheets.
  • Learn from your peers through the Child Nutrition Sharing Site-your one stop shop for all operation-related child nutrition program resources, including Farm to School.


** Please note how that statement is worded. That is a great example of how toward something about healthy food without making a medical claim to treat an illness. What reason can you see that “**Eating fruits and vegetables provides health benefits–like nutrients that can help protect you from some chronic not an opinion nor it is a false promise that eating fruits and veggies will “cure disease”? Think about it. Feel free to ask and explore questions in the comment section.


I’m sure we are all aware that when purchasing “Organic Food” we are going to pay more – expect that food to meet our standards of safety from chemical pesticides. But is it? (Subject for another post.)

How do you know that some crook did not slap an “organically grown” sticker on a plastic box of fresh fruit like blueberries in order to realize a higher profit margin? Or how do you know that someone has not taken organic labeled containers and reused them? You don’t know for sure…unless… someone is going out to the fields to check up on the farming operation.


Before you get your knickers in a wad, read firsthand what the USDA’s new rules for organic food actually are – check it out below.

Please don’t shoot the messenger…In order to make claims about what the U.S. government is doing to “control”, it is wise to actually read for yourself what the U.S. government has planned in writing. If you see the agencies following through with what they should -Call them on it! I have clickable links for many agencies in a number of No Non-cents Nanna blog posts that will help make your own research easier.


Below is a press release from:

SOE protects organic integrity and bolsters farmer and consumer confidence in the USDA organic seal by supporting strong organic control systems, improving farm to market traceability, increasing import oversight authority, and providing robust enforcement of the organic regulations. Key updates include:

  • Requiring certification of more of the businesses, like brokers and traders, at critical links in organic supply chains.
  • Requiring NOP Import Certificates for all organic imports.
  • Requiring organic identification on nonretail containers.
  • Increasing authority for more rigorous on-site inspections of certified operations.
  • Requiring uniform qualification and training standards for organic inspectors and certifying agent personnel.
  • Requires standardized certificates of organic operation.
  • Requires additional and more frequent reporting of data on certified operations.
  • Creates authority for more robust recordkeeping, traceability practices, and fraud prevention procedures.
  • Specify certification requirements for producer groups.

SOE complements and supports the many actions that USDA takes to protect the organic label, including the registration of the USDA organic seal trademark with the USPTO. The registered trademark provides authority to deter uncertified entities from falsely using the seal, which together with this new rule provides additional layers of protection to the USDA organic seal.

Who is affected?

The rule may affect USDA-accredited certifying agents; organic inspectors; certified organic operations; operations considering organic certification; businesses that import or trade organic products; and retailers that sell organic products. To see if you are affected by SOE, please read the full rule available at:


The EPA is not doing enough to be certain that supposedly healthy food is safe for our families to eat. Keep in mind that many of our favorite fruits and veggies are not indigenous to every state in America every week of the year.

Please don’t freak out when I say, “Even if you grew your own, do you know what is in your garden soil or in the air above your plants?” (TBA another No Non-cents Nanna post.) There are steps you can take to find the better solutions available to you.

recent EWG investigation published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health found that the EPA has failed to adequately protect children from pesticides.

For almost 90 percent of the most common pesticides, the agency has neglected to apply the Food Quality Protection Act–mandated children’s health safety factor to the allowable limits.

The threats pesticides pose to children’s health have been known since at least 1993 – 30 years ago – when the National Academies of Science published a landmark study warning of inadequate oversight. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents concerned about their children’s exposure to pesticides consult EWG’s Shopper’s Guide.


And to think that the Biden/ Harris administration is gung-ho for serving fresh fruits and veggies for school lunch. How will this administration manage to keep food safe for our kids?


Let’s move on to pesticides and the dirty word, “chemicals”. But before we do go forward, you need to understand that everything is made up of chemicals.

Yes, everything, paper, rock, scissors, animals, vegetables, and minerals are all a bunch of chemicals! And some of you have been doing it wrong – your understanding of the word, “chemical” and other words such as pesticides.

“Terms like “synthetic,” “toxicity,” “natural,” “organic,” and “chemicals” are sometimes used in confusing ways.” ****

How credible do you think the ***source below is? How do you know?

Understanding Pesticides in Organic and Conventional Crop Production Systems

***Helen M. Andrews, Graduate Research Associate
Mary Ann Rose, Director, Pesticide Safety Education Program

In conversations about

  • pesticides,
  • certified organic agriculture,
  • conventional production, and
  • backyard gardening,

questions are often raised concerning which pesticides can be used, where pesticides come from, and associated risks to people, pollinators, and the environment.

Terms like “synthetic,” “toxicity,” “natural,” “organic,” and “chemicals” are sometimes used in confusing ways. ****

The goal of this fact sheet is to provide an outline for understanding these and other terms as they relate to pesticides in organic and conventional crop production.

According to U.S. federal law (NPIC, 2018a).pesticide is a substance that “is intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest,” Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, disinfectants, repellents, and biopesticides. 


Scientific words may “sound like Greek” to many people. But, generally, those medical terms and symbols are based on Latin root words. › dictionary › pesticidePesticide – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms |

The Latin suffix cide means “killer,” and in pesticide, it’s combined with the English word pest, which means just what it sounds like — a troublesome annoyance.
BTW High school students who plan on going into the field of medicine will take classes in Latin and Greek to prepare for their years of a college education. › crops › herbicides-vs-pesticidesHerbicide vs. pesticide: How these terms are used | AGDAILY

Oct 27, 2020 · The word “pesticide” comes from the Latin words pestis (#scourge) and carder, which means “to kill,” and “pesticide” is an umbrella term that covers all different types of synthetic
Now that we have read some snippets of definitions and braking apart the words:
Does knowing that scientific or medical terms come from Latin beginning make sense? Are you a tad less overwhelmed or confused?
I think it is kind of fun to figure out the meaning of big words when I know more about how the word is formed.

Apr 17, 2020 · 1550s (in imprecations, “a pest upon ____,” etc.), “plague, pestilence, epidemic disease,” from French peste (1530s), from Latin pestis “deadly contagious disease; a curse, bane,” a

The toxicity of a pesticide is its capacity to cause injury to a living system.
Toxicity is determined by a substance’s chemical makeup.
Pesticides may have acute effects over a short period of time, or chronic effects from repeated exposures at lower levels over a longer period of time.
Let’s look at the definition of the word “toxic” which also has its roots in Latin.
  • Origin of toxic First recorded in 1655–65; from Late Latin toxicus “poisonous,” derivative of toxicum “poison,” from Greek toxikón (for toxikòn phármakon literally, “bow poison,” i.e., poison used on arrows), equivalent to tóx (on) “bow” …

This is a list of roots, suffixes, and prefixes used in medical terminology, their meanings, and their etymologies. Most of them are combining forms in New Latin and hence international scientific



This is not a cure-all. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables with some pesticides may be a better solution, for some, than not eating your veggies at all out of fear. I’m sorry to say that there is never going to be 100% avoidance of pesticide residue even if you grew your own.

The best way to understand what is the safest and most nutritious food for your family is to dig deep with your own research from reputable sites that are fact-based – rather than “he said/she said testimonies”.



Peels may contain pesticides

Pesticides are commonly used to reduce crop damage and increase yield.

Contrary to popular belief, pesticides can be found on both organically and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables (20).

Although some pesticides enter fruit and vegetable flesh, many remain confined in the outer peel (21Trusted Source).

Washing is a good way to get rid of pesticide residues that are loosely attached to the peel’s surface. However, peeling is the best way to remove pesticides that have seeped into fruit and vegetable skin (22Trusted Source).

For example, a recent review reports that around 41% of pesticide residues found on fruits was removed by washing with water, while up to twice as much was removed through peeling (23Trusted Source).


Pesticide levels in fresh produce are tightly regulated. ( Or is supposed to be.) After thinking about all the stink in some trending news related to “organic farming”, I strongly question the attitudes of people who claim, “the government did me wrong,” or “the government is too controlling”.

IMO, I think that some of the distrust by loud “anti-government” propagandists may have to do with them NOT being willing to follow instructions set forth by the USDA. I could be wrong on this, but, I don’t think so. Maybe we can expand on this topic later.

An example is Amish Miller. Pretty much, every viral article seemed to me to be biased without doing the research on the USDA regulations for themselves.

Also, having lived most of my life within a few miles of Iowa Amish, I am aware of the fact that most Amish I know are kind and gentle people – however – their education is limited to the 8th grade. There are reams of regulations – so much to absorb. They honestly feel that their right to maintain their Amish traditions is being violated by government regulations. I get it. But, those UDSA regulations are what is supposed to be keeping the rest of the people in the US safe from contaminated food.

This is a conundrum for sure. Therefore, I encourage you to read Miller’s side and the USDA regulations on meat with an open mind. To be bluntly unfiltered, it has been obvious to me that many YouTubers have reacted emotionally in support of an agenda that they hold dear – but criticized the USDA without being fully informed of what every other beef producer has to abide by.

Americans assume that our food has been adequately stored to avoid bacterial growth. It is my understanding that some of MIller’s product was shipped – but not on ice as it should have been. Most viral articles seem to be vague and clearly biased toward Miller being “persecuted”.

I beg to differ knowing full well, that few vocal advocates will agree with my informed opinion.

BTW unless the copy of the “birth certificate” made for Amos Miller is wrong, he was born in 1977. The man is not that old to have been farming for 30 years. Does anyone have any better idea of his age? I had first gotten the erroneous impression that Miller was much older than that.

Who is Amos Miller?

  • For nearly 30 years, Amos Miller has owned and operated Miller’s Organic Farm, an all-natural Amish farm located in Bird-in-Hand Pennsylvania. Like many Amish farmers, Miller likes to do things the old-fashioned way. He doesn’t use electricity, fertilizer, or gasoline, and he also stays away from modern preservatives.

Amish Farmer Faces Fines, Prison Time for Refusing to Comply with US…



We ate the last of the blueberries along with a variety of salads and other Dirty Dozen foods.

We cannot live on blueberries or bread alone. But, after pulling all of this information together I have a new zest to look for labels indicating whether or not my fresh produce has been grown “organically” and where it was grown.

How about you?

This has been Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna encouraging you to make good choices.


Resource index:

Official Inventory of FV Inspection Aids.pdf › wiki › List_of_medical_rootsList of medical roots, suffixes and prefixes – Wikipedia › wiki › List_of_medical_rootsList of medical roots, suffixes and prefixes – Wikipedia



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