Scientist inspects image of a puzzling pinhead sperm of abnormal morphology.

Scientist inspects image of a puzzling pinhead sperm of abnormal morphology.

Good news, men! You are in perfect position to participate in an exciting new experiment that may protect the fertility of hombres everywhere, and save humankind. And it’s so easy.

All you have to do is eat a lot of apples, and strawberries, and peppers, and about 15 other traditionally healthful whole foods (and you don’t have to give up any of your other favorite foods, either). When you’re done munching, we’re going to take a close look at your sperm, and you can go back to watching sports or turning in screws or any of your favorite activities.

How cool is that?

See, science is playing a hunch that your consumption of lots of all the super-good-for-you fruits & vegetables might somehow mess with your ability to have children. We’re pretty sure that it does—goof up your seed, I mean—but in the spirit of no-stone-left-unturned, we ask for a little bit of your time, to make darned sure.

Speaking of darned sure, science does know some stuff already. It knows that pesticides DO kill sperm—and the sperms they don’t get outright, they mutate into gasping little wiggly things swimming in circles. Pesticides are, after all, often designed to halt reproduction in undesirable bugs, so it’s good that no one man eats too many pesticides. We’re pretty sure there is a safe amount you can eat. The experiment we’re engaged in now—we like to call it the “Goldilocks Study”—is all about finding the exact sweet spot between just right and too much, which is why your help is so important.

Here’s how it works. Simply go to your favorite grocery store and purchase lots of the following: green, yellow and red peppers, spinach, strawberries, celery, blueberries, potatoes, peaches and plums, apples or pears, winter squash, kale, mustard greens and chard greens, grapes and raisins. Purchase more from the front of the list than from the end, because the front ones will give you the most bang for your buck—a wider variety of pesticide residues, and more of each.

Be careful NOT to select anything organic; if you see the USDA Organic seal, put it back; these foods will skew our data.

According to Jorge Chavarro of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and senior author of a recent study on this topic, (as paraphrased in HuffPost online)
“Organic produce carries less pesticide residue, if you can afford it, he said,” according to HuffPost. Luckily, since it’s pricey to opt out, our study is that much easier for you practical, on-the-go, wannabe dads.

In fact, the study Chavarro and his colleagues authored found that men who are more health-conscious—who try to eat better by consuming more healthful foods like fresh vegetables and fruits (of the non-organic variety)—are the best subjects for this science. They eat more of the fruits and vegetables that get sprayed more, and therefore get more for their efforts. In other words, a man who eats more mainstream foods from closer to the front of our list above, the more AWOL and squirrely are his sperm.

As quoted by HuffPost, Chavarro said, “The total amount of fruits and veggies in the diet was not associated with semen quality. But men who ate at least 1.5 servings of high-pesticide produce per day had about half as many sperm in their semen, and two-thirds as many normal-appearing sperm, as men who ate less than half a serving of high-pesticide produce per day, according to results in Human Reproduction.”

Got that?

Put axiomatically, the science here is telling us that an apple-a-day, keeps the sperm cells away. Two-a-day, even more so. But the science is far from clear.

“These results do not point to any one specific pesticide or group of pesticides. Instead, they suggest that pesticide mixtures, as used in [conventional] agriculture, may be to blame,” said Chavarro in an email to Reuters Health (according to HuffPost online).

“This does not necessarily imply reduced fertility, we will continue our work to try to figure out to what extent these effects in semen quality may ultimately impact fertility. Gaining a better understanding on which specific mixtures or pesticides explain this relation will be key moving forward, however,” he said.

We concur. Whenever something in the food one is eating is zapping one’s sperm, it’s a good idea to continue to monitor. Who knows what advances lie ahead?

We believe our long and prosperous human future can count on your sperm, gentlemen, and we hope your sperm will count in it. Thank you for your selfless participation in this vital experiment.

Photo compilation partially made from: