New Web Tool Searches For Pesticides On Produce

Posted by Sharon on Jun 20

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womf_logo_labelThose who have ever wondered just how healthy their produce is can find out additional information about the food they're buying via the internet. One can find nutrition information, calorie counts, the presence of essential vitamins and minerals... and now, pesticides.

Recently, the PAN (Pesticides Action Network) has created a website called "What's On My Food?" to help consumers realize just how many chemicals they ingest. Here's how it works:

Choose a food item, and the website will describe just how many pesticides will likely be present on that food item, on average. The numbers are based on scientific studies concerning the amount of carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, and developmental/reproductive toxins that are present in or on the food product. Below these statistics is a breakdown of each specific pesticide as well as how often it is usually found in the specified food.

Most of these pesticides are usually found in very low levels on food, which means the topic of "safe vs. unsafe" pesticides has been debated for quite some time. But since pesticide contact is not merely limited to the foods one eats -- i.e. air pollution, skin products, and water treatment -- those who argue for pesticide treatment are being forced to re-think their position.

Many foods are included on the list that aren't raw produce items -- such as apple juice, corn syrup, and heavy cream. Using heavy cream as an example, PAN's website states that this milk-based product typically contains 8 hormone disruptors, 2 carcinogens, and 2 developmental/reproductive toxins. The most common chemicals found in the product are DDE p,p', HCB, and cyhalothrin.

Those who wish to avoid ingesting these pesticides can do so by choosing to buy organic produce. Organic foods are labelled such because they are grown without the use of manmade pesticides, chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, and genetically-modified seeds. More information about this can be found on the PAN's website.

Sources: Whatsonmyfood.org
The Daily Green

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