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Pesticides for Dinner

7/13/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: Pesticide Action Network, online tool, pesticides, pesticides in food

Pesticides are all around us, from the air we breathe to the food we eat. Commonly applied to crops during cultivation, pesticides are used to repel and kill pests. Unfortunately, the chemicals used in pesticides—often dangerous carcinogens—often accompany produce to the dinner table, even after a good rinse in the sink Other pesticide-related illnesses include autism and Parkinson’s disease.

organic food
Organically grown fruits and vegetables taste better and are better for you. NH Archives. 

That’s why the Pesticide Action Network (an online group dedicated to reducing pesticides throughout the world) created What’s On My Food, a web-based tool that breaks down the amount and type of pesticides found in common foods. The pesticide information is collected from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program and other reliable sources, then sorted and placed into the Pesticide Action Network’s database for easy access and reference. The website currently lists pesticide-residue levels for 89 foods—from almonds to frozen winter squash and everything in between.

If you’re concerned about pesticides, you can take preventive measures such as buying organic food, which is free of chemical fertilizers and harmful pesticides. Organic produce also has not been genetically modified.

Concerned because you can’t afford to buy all organic? It’s OK. Check out this list of the most contaminated and least contaminated foods before you hit the grocery or the farmer’s market. 

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