Pesticides in the news...What is the worry?
You may have heard about pesticides in the news lately. The Brazilian government recently loosened restrictions on chemical pesticides, approving several that were once banned as being too dangerous. But why are pesticides so bad, and why should you care about chemicals being used in Brazil?
Brazil is a huge country, and it produces a lot of food. It’s one of the biggest soy exporters in the world. A lot of that soy is imported to the US as animal feed. There, it mixes with grain from all over the world, including the US, almost all of which is treated with chemical pesticides. The US government has restrictions on the amount of pesticide residue that is acceptable in our food, but that amount can be over 100 times greater on animal feed!
Pesticides and other chemicals eaten by animals are stored in fat cells, where they accumulate over time. So those dangerous chemicals now legalized in Brazil are being carried on soy and grains to American farms, where they’re passed on to American consumers in beef, pork and poultry.
While the government tests and regulates pesticides for safety, the long-term effects of exposure aren’t totally understood. Limits are placed on the amount pesticide present in our foods, but most produce and meat contains traces of many different pesticides and the way they mix hasn’t been fully studied. Studies of agricultural workers found higher risk of several types of cancer, reproductive issues, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, immune system damage and neurological disorders. While there is evidence that many pesticides can effect our hormone levels, those possible effects aren’t fully considered in EPA testing. We also know that children are at higher risk than adults, and one study has found that kids with more pesticide exposure may have higher instances of ADHD.
Pesticides also pose a major risk to the environment.
The US Geological Survey found that 90% of agricultural streams in the country are contaminated by pesticides, and nearly 10% had levels considered unsafe for human health. The highest concentrations were of a chemical banned in Europe because of its dangers. And while the FDA and EPA study new and existing pesticides, environmental contamination means that even after a chemical is found to be unsafe it can stay in our soil and waterways for years. Commercially-grown meat tested today can still contain traces of DDT, which has been banned since 1972!
So how can you avoid pesticides, especially in your meat?
Eat Grass-fed, Pastured meats and KNOW YOUR FARMER!
According to Consumer Reports, the most reliable way to reduce your pesticide intake is to eat organic and grass-fed foods. Green Owl strives to know its producers and methods used to insure its quality and safety. We believe in zero chemicals and drugs whenever possible and look for farms that follow healthy farming practices and believe in producing naturally healthy food.
Better nutrition, better animal welfare, lower environmental impact and better tasting food!
Know your farmer - Know your food and take control of your health!