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Do you really need to wash your strawberries

Page history last edited by Jana Langley 12 years ago

   Pesticides and the Food We Eat:    



Why Are Pesticides Used:

  • Pesticides are used to protect the food we eat from being affected by insects, rodents, weeds, mold, and bacteria.


Facts That You Should Know: 

  • The use of pesticides throughout the world has increased by 50% over the past 30 years.
  • 2.5 million tons of pesticides are applied annually
  • Pesticides kill a large number of insects including the ones that prey on the destructive pests
  • Use of pesticides contribute to:
    • domestic animal deaths
    • honey bee/pollination loss
    • groundwater contamination
    • decline in diversity of the bird and fish population


The Dangers of Pesticides:

  • Ingestion is the most dangerous route for pesticide poisoning. The most frequently used pesticides are organophosphates and pyrethroids.
    • Organophosphate poisoning symptoms include: headache, dizzyness, nausea, anxiety, restlessness. More severe : muscle twitching, incoordination, sweating, weakness, tremor, vomiting, tearing, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, blurred vision, and salivation.
    • Pyrethroid is effective in high dosages. They have low toxicity because they are poorly absorbed and broken down efficiently and quickly. Poisoning symptoms include: tremor, incoordination, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, paraesthesia (stinging, burning, tingling, numbness), and irritability to sound and touch.
  • Infants and small children are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Due to a lower body weight, the pesticide affects the infants and small children much faster.






What's Being Done:

  • The EPA set standards on the amount of pesticides allowed in the foods we eat
  • In 1996, President Clinton started The Food Quality Protection Agency to set tougher standards on the pesticides allowed in food






What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family From Pesticides:

  • Using fruit and vegetable washed, which are formulated to remove chemical residue from produce
    • Environne and Vitanet - available at health food stores and some supermarkets
    • Make your own using 1 tsp. of dish detergent per gallon of water
  • Peeling fruits with high chemical residues (i.e. peaches, pears and apples)
  • Buy organic!
  • Grow your own fruits and vegetables.
  • Eating canned fruits and vegetables. In the canning process, the produce is washed several times
  • Buy produce directly from local farmers



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