What’s On Your Food?
By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson
OMG, as the texters say. The apple I had for lunch may have had 42 different pesticide residues on it, according to the USDA pesticide testing program. Yes, I washed it, but I have no idea how much residue washing removes. I guess this is why some people (not me, not yet) say you should wash and then peel any fruit or vegetable before eating it.
Of the residues on my apple, five would have been known or probably carcinogens — cancer-promoting substances. Also listed are 19 suspected hormone disruptors, ten neurotoxins — nerve poisons — and five “developmental or reproductive toxicants.” I’m not sure if I should be concerned about that last category. I’m not reproducing anymore, but my cells are.
It’s a good thing I’m not much of a worrier. I’ll try to remember to spend more time washing my apples from here on, but I’m not going to peel them, and I’m certainly not going to give them up. What’s life without apples?
I found this grim information on a fascinating (as in watching-a-rattlesnake fascinating) web site called “What’s On My Food?” It’s a project of the Pesticide Action Network, so you know they’re not going to say — like some people I’m not going to name again — that failure to use pesticides can lead to simultaneous obesity and starvation, as well as cancer.
Here’s what PAN has to say about pesticides — and this is documented fact, not scary tricks lobbyists play.
…on our food, even after washing;
…in our bodies, for years;
…& in our environment, traveling many miles on wind, water and dust.
What’s On My Food? is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable.
How does this tool work? We link pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time.
It’s discouraging to think that even the food we grow here with such care, sharing, albeit unwillingly, with bugs and slugs and other hungry critters, isn’t safe from pesticide dust and contamination. But all we can do is the best we can do. And that’s why god made vegetable brushes.
Check out the site. Click on a food and see what you come up with. You’ll know more than you know now — and knowledge, they say, is power.