Friday, March 2, 2007

Pesticide Residues - We Eat Poison!

Pesticides are used on almost all produce grown in the U.S. today. But what happens when the pesticide residues on the produce is ingested by humans?

In one study done by the CDC, 9282 people were tested for pesticides. 100% of the people who had their blood and urine tested were found to have a mixture of 13 - 26 pesticides in their bodies. These pesticides are identified with birth defects, childhood and adult cancers, and infertility.

The problem isn’t necessarily in the individual pesticides themselves because their levels are regulated by the government to be relatively low. It’s the combination of multiple chemicals that we are exposed to simultaneously in our daily lives that raises concerns. It is impossible to avoid exposure to multiple chemicals in day: we breathe in polluted air, eat pesticide-treated produce, walk through pesticide-treated lawns, and are exposed to many other chemicals simultaneously.

Example: chlorpyrifos, a chemical created to kill insects by disrupting the insects’ nerves. In spite of the EPA restricting use of chloropyrifos to household use, many farmers continue to use it as an insecticide on the produce they grow. As it is a poison targeted at the nervous system, it has been shown in lab tests to affect hormone levels and the nervous system of lab animals used in research.

Organochlorine (OC) pesticides: 6 exist, and women have been found in the DCD study to have extraordinarily high levels of 3 of them. These OC pesticides have been known to cross the placenta to a fetus and disrupt brain development.

The nervous system and brain development are only a couple of the systems of the human body that can suffer detrimental effects of these poisonous substances found in our food. The scary thing is, even rinsing produce before eating them does not remove the residues of harmful pesticides, meaning we ingest those poisons right into our bodies! There are special solutions that claim to dissolves pesticide and wax residues from produce, and they can be bought in your local grocery store. Other than that, the only way to avoid ingesting these toxins is to buy the expensive, organically grown produce.

We shouldn’t have to pay more for pesticide-free produce to make sure it is healthy. We are exposed to enough poisons in our surroundings without having to worry about eating poisons too! There are natural alternatives to pesticides; citric acid is one of them. We can grow produce effectively while still making sure it is safe for people to eat.

Study and chemical information found at:

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