Mother Earth Living

Choose Organic Flowers

A beautiful bouquet that’s pesticide free.
By Kate Wetzel
January/February 2004
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Sneaky toxins

Conventional flowers can harbor pesticide residues in quantities dozens of times greater than is permissible on food. Most stems sold in the United States are imported from South America, where farm worker safety laws and pesticide regulations (including DDT) aren’t as rigorous.

Flowers in the fields

Even U.S. industrial flower farms use chemicals such as mancozeb, a known carcinogen, and methyl bromide, which causes significant ozone depletion. Once the flowers are harvested, no regulations exist to limit the quantities of these chemicals in bouquets.

Organic petal pushers

Health food stores such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats sell organic blooms. Online organic flower vendors such as are also an option. During summer, choose locally, organically grown stems at your farmer’s market.

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