Monday, October 3, 2011

Save the world: Watch the pesticides

Which foods have the most pesticide residues? Celery, a range of fruit, dairy products and bread are all ranked in the top dozen of foods available in New Zealand which are likely to contain more pesticide residues (

Celery is also likely to contain a fungicide chlorothalonil, which is a probable human carcinogen, and in laboratory studies has caused DNA damage and embryo loss. Chlorothalonil has been included in a list which the EPA in the US intends to study as a potential endocrine disruptor. This pesticide has also been found in groundwater, sea water and air and is toxic to many species, including earthworms. Another fungicide used on celery, mancozeb, has a breakdown product, ethylene thiourea, which has been found to cause cancer, endocrine disruption, goitre and birth defects. Exposure to heat increases the amount of metabolite, so think of that before you add non-organic celery to your soup!

Usually, washing, peeling and cooking reduces the amount of pesticide residues, however some persist. If you think organic food is too expensive, remember that non-organic food does not include the cost of biodiversity loss and other environmental degradation. With organic food you pay the real cost for real food, and you give the grower a fairer return. By having organic food you support a system which better protects our children and the environment.

By Alison White, Safe Food Campaign,

I just bought this bunch of crunchy celery. Some friends tell me that give it a soak in salt water


wenn said...

ya..we should eat organic food.

Ginny Hartzler said...

I didn't know about the celery! Here, the worst foods for pesticides are potatoes and strawberries. With potatoes,they are roots,so the poison goes all the way through them. Professional potato farmers won't even eat their own potatoes,I Hear. They grow their own little patch for their family.

Unknown said...

Hello Ann :))
I think all vege here are loaded with pesticides. We have been eating organic for some time, its very expensive and there are limited selection. Still, I stomach of eating pesticide at home. Great article..btw, I did try gardening vege with much dissapointment :(

Gattina said...

I never think about pesticide residues, with all the junk I have eaten since I am born, I am immune against this probably. In the 50,60,70,80 nobody talked about that only used it, so .... and I am still very well alive! lol