Thursday, June 16, 2011

Yet another reason to grow your own herbs (and veggies)

Cilantro is a favorite herb for many because of its tasty addition to garden salsas and Southwestern/Mexican dishes. However, in the recent "USDA Pesticide Data Program (PDP), which tests thousands of food samples for pesticide residues every year," (in which Cilantro appeared for the first time) the data does not look good. Read below for the released information.

Read the full article here: Cilantro, chlorpyrifos & flying blind

If you don't have time to read the short article, here are a couple of important excerpts:

"This was the first time cilantro was included in PDP testing, and as reported by the Chicago Tribune, more than 30 unapproved pesticides were found, with 44% of samples contaminated with at least one illegal pesticide. In addition, one sample had levels of chlorpyrifos in excess of permissible amounts. Chlorpyrifos and many of the unapproved pesticides are organophosphate insecticides; research links prenatal exposure to these chemicals with cognitive disorders in children"

"Among the dark underbellies of how we regulate pesticides here in the U.S. is a near-complete lack of enforcement, and the fact that we have no national use reporting. Enforcement is handled by "state partners," typically ag departments and commissioners who are notoriously lax (if not recalcitrant) about monitoring and reporting illegal pesticide use. And EPA has no funding or mandate to require pesticide applicators to disclose what they're doing in the fields."

This information is brought to you by an excellent resource for dependable information on pesticides and their effects on the environment and humans, the Pesticide Action Network. Because information on the negative consequences of pesticides is suppressed by big name, big money corporations, we must dig a little deeper for the simple facts.

Check out the website "What's on my Food" to better understand the pesticides and hormones you might be digesting daily.
  • As a note, I'd like to stress the fact that I'm including this information on my blog because I believe it is information we should all have easy access to. The struggle to know what's used on our food before it reaches our mouths is raging today as more and more people realize the ill effects of commonly used pesticides. Buying organic and/or growing your own veggies isn't always an option, but when it is, I believe paying the extra money for something that will save you money on medical bills (not to mention the emotional expense of a funeral) in the future is a smart thing to do. Although I know many people don't share my views on environmental issues, it's clear that agriculture is intrinsically tied to these issues and ensuring that our children, grandchildren, etc. have a safe and healthy place to grow and thrive. I never write with the intention to look down upon different buying/eating/living habits. I only write with the intent to educate myself and possibly a few others. And here's a secret: I don't have the best diet myself. It's something I'm still trying to work on!

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