Health updates: Organic groceries and tests on pesticide chemicals

February 28, 2012

Farmers' markets, Food, Health

The following is new information regarding saving money on organic groceries and the EPA mandating tests on endocrine disruptors.

Saving money on organic groceries

According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental research firm, the fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticide residue and should be replaced with organically grown are: peaches, apples, sweet peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach and potatoes. It is also better to buy organic milk and dairy products free of growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. This is true for meat and poultry, as well. If these cost too much, look for meats and poultry with the “natural” label, meaning there are no growth hormones, antibiotics or artificial ingredients.

You can also save money on organics by checking for coupons on the Web sites of major organic companies, or join a food co-op or community-supported agriculture program, many of which offer organic foods. Log on to Localharvest.org for more info and visit your local farmers’ markets for top-quality seasonal organic products.

EPA to mandate tests on pesticide chemicals

For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency is requiring pesticide manufacturers to test a number of widely used chemicals to determine whether or not they disrupt the endocrine system. Although spokespeople for the pesticide industry claim they are not worried about the results, scientists like Dr. Tyrone Hayes of UC Berkeley have already discovered that exposure to small amounts of common pesticides can cause sex changes in frogs.

The EPA’s mandatory review was set into motion in the late 1990s with the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act, but it has taken nearly a decade for the agency to take action. Now that the process is underway, 67 commonly used chemicals in pesticides will be tested over the next two years, and it will take approximately one year to assess the data and draw up recommendations.

 

Resources: www.health.com and www.organicconsumers.org.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  4, Aug/Sept 2009.

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