So why do farmers use synthetic pesticides on their crops? To kill insects and weeds, of course. So if these products are designed to kill, what are they doing to us when we ingest them? Numerous studies have shown that we store pesticides in our bodies and that they are linked to cancer, ADHD, Alzheimer's, and endocrine problems. Research done at Berkeley has shown that the prevalent herbicide, Atrazine, has actually turned male frogs into females.
The EPA has admitted that the long term exposure of pesticides can cause cancer. Respected doctors including Andrew Weil and Sanjay Gupta warn consumers about the dangers of ingesting these chemicals. The Environmental Working Group has a Dirty Dozen List of fruits and vegetables to avoid because of their high concentration of pesticides.
- Spinach and other greens
- Summer Squash
Even after the above is washed, they still contain pesticide residue!
The EWG states that we can reduce our exposure by 80% if we eliminate foods on the Dirty Dozen List or by purchasing organic versions of them. There is an abundance of organic produce available at your local market, in the fresh, canned and frozen sections. Or you can try growing some yourself this summer.
If we as consumers demand more organically grown produce, their availability will rise and their prices will drop. It is up to us to put more thought into what we eat. Refusing to purchase food doused with synthetic pesticides will promote healthier people and a healthier planet.