What can do you?
You don’t have to stop eating or grow your own food! Washing foods reduce, but does not eliminate pesticides because some are absorbed internally into the food. You don’t have to change your diet or switch completely to organic. Here’s how:
90% of pesticides found in food,
are found in only 12 foods: Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Cherries, Imported Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Red Raspberries, Spinach and Strawberries. These foods not only contain most of the pesticides, a recent EPA study found that peaches, raspberries and strawberries were found to have as many as eight different pesticides on a single sample of fruit. Eating these twelve most contaminated foods exposes you to 20 pesticides per day. Eating organic versions of these foods or avoiding them, reduces your pesticide intake by 10 times.
Least contaminated foods:
Asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapples and peas. Eating these foods also reduces the number of pesticides you are likely to be exposed to by 10 times.
Reduce the Impact of Pesticides by Shopping Wisely, Here’s How:
Is Organic Really the Answer?
Some organic farms breed the natural predators of the plant-eating insects, like praying mantis, ladybugs, many types of birds and bats. These natural predators keep insect populations at more manageable levels. However, organic foods are often not pesticide-free. Organic foods are not allowed to contain the inorganic pesticides that are commonly used by big agriculture so they contain a smaller number of pesticides. The organic pesticides used on organic foods also tend to be older pesticides that we have more health data on and are less likely to have unexpected negative affects. One of the reasons why organic food is more expensive to produce is because more of the crop is lost to insects.
Eat Organic, Good for You, Good for the Earth
By eating organic you are not only reducing the quantity of dangerous chemicals you take into your body, you are also reducing the demand for manufacturing the dangerous chemicals, reducing the impacts on workers at the manufacturing plant and on farm workers and local residents over-sprayed with pesticides. You are also reducing the quantities that end up in the soil, rivers and lakes that kill wildlife and throw off their natural hormone balance.
Learning more on the web
to learn more about human health affects from pesticides and learn more about alternatives to pesticides at www.pesticide.org
. At the EPA site click on EPA’s human health risk assessment to learn more about a particular pesticide’s health risk. Visit www.ncfap.org
to learn more about what pesticides are currently being used on what crops and in what states.
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