Navigating Pesticides and Produce with the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen


This episode of the Healthy Steps Radio Show, hosted on WMNF Tampa by Dr. Fred Harvey, featured an “Ask Me Anything Monday” where listeners called in with various health concerns. Dr. Harvey discussed a range of topics, including the dangers of pesticide exposure, particularly paraquat, and its link to Parkinson’s disease. He also addressed questions about food safety, the effectiveness of supplements for health issues such as allergies and eye health, and strategies for detoxification.

  1. Safety of Consuming Fruits and Vegetables: Dr. Harvey discussed concerns about pesticide use on produce. He advised consulting the Environmental Working Group’s lists of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to make informed choices.
  2. Natural Remedies for Bug Bite Reactions: Explored options for alleviating severe reactions to bug bites. Recommendations included using quercetin and vitamin C to stabilize mast cells and reduce allergic reactions, along with other supplements like stinging nettle leaf.
  3. Pesticides and Mycotoxins in Coffee and Teas: Dr. Harvey addressed concerns about contaminants in coffee and tea. He suggested selecting brands that test for contaminants and also provided advice on managing a sprained ankle, including the use of arnica and support strategies to prevent future injuries.
  4. Risk of Catching COVID Through the Eyes and Seeking a Geriatric Doctor: Questioned the transmission of COVID through the eyes and the appropriate age for consulting a geriatric doctor. Dr. Harvey highlighted the transmission risk through the eyes for airborne viruses and endorsed functional medicine for ongoing health management across all ages.
  5. Supplements for Eye Health as Aging Progresses: A caller inquired about beneficial supplements for maintaining eye health as one ages. Dr Harvey recommended antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamin A, zinc, and specific herbs.
  6. Impact of Pesticides on Farmworkers and the Environment: Contributed insights on the detrimental effects of pesticide use in agriculture, emphasizing the need for awareness and change in farming practices to mitigate health risks for workers and consumers.
  7. Personal Remedy for Repelling Mosquitoes: Dr. Harvey shared an effective personal strategy for deterring mosquitoes using garlic oil pills, contributing to the broader discussion on natural health solutions.
  8. Chronic Sinus Issues and Treatment Effectiveness: Dr. Harvey discussed ongoing sinus problems and various treatment options. He distinguished between different types of nasal sprays and recommended antihistamines and natural remedies for sustained relief.
  9. Absorption of Vitamins and Supplements: Explored how the form of vitamins (liquid, capsule, tablet) and the timing of ingestion affect absorption. Dr. Harvey offered advice on optimal supplement intake practices, including considerations for food and water intake.



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