Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Dirty Dozen Fruits and Veges

You know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, how about peeling that apple before you eat it to avoid the nine potential pesticides that it contains in a single serving. Don’t take it from me…take it from the U.S. government that has conducted over 87,000 tests confirming this residue.

The Environmental Working Group has reviewed this information in detail before contacting ABC News, who showcased the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables that contain a super high amount of pesticides. And while 2/3 of our produce has no pesticide residue, the remaining 1/3 is known to cause endocrine-disruption, hormone imbalances, cancer, depression, miscarriages and skin allergies.

In Europe, recent EU legislation has been approved banning the use of highly toxic pesticides including those, which are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction.

So while we continue to use algicides (to avoid algae) or avicides (to control birds), I would rather see some alternative practices. For example, cultivation practices include more polyculture (growing multiple types of plants), and crop rotation (planting crops in areas where the pests that damage them do not live). Even time planting according to when pests will be less problematic, and we can use trap crops that attract pests away from the real crop. In the US, farmers have had success controlling insects by spraying with hot water at a cost that is about the same as pesticide spraying.

Source: ABC News and Environmental Working Group
Image Source: Flickr

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