What are pesticides?
Pesticides are chemical substances that kill pests to increase crop output.
Why should I care about pesticide contamination?
Pesticides can be harmful to everyone, depending on the amounts exposed to or ingested. They are particularly dangerous to children and young adults when their brains are still in development. Expectant and breast feeding mothers should also avoid pesticides whenever possible.
Effects of Pesticides
Acute Toxicity (Short Term)
- Skin or eye irritation
- Dizziness or nausea
- Inability to move the muscles
Chronic Toxicity (Long Term)
- Various types of cancer
- Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, etc.
- Brain abnormalities in children
The Dirty Dozen
These foods have the highest concentration of pesticides in all produce, according to Environmental Working Group’s 2014 Dirty Dozen List.
Q: Can we trust the supplier to check the levels of pesticide in our food?
A: No. The supplier cannot afford to test every food from every source. In fact, no company or organization can afford that. Instead, the supplier may only randomly check a few samples every season.
Q: Is organic food pesticide free?
A: Not always. “Organic” is not synonymous with “pesticide-free” or “chemical-free”. When nonchemical “prevention” strategies such as insect predators and traps fail, farmers are allowed to use USDA approved pesticides under restricted conditions. It is recommended to test organic food before eating them.