I get a
kick watching educational shows with my grandkids. One
favorite is "The Cat in the Hat," who is always up
for an adventure. But not before the children ask their mother
can go! We can go!" say the kids after getting the OK
know! I know!" says the Cat. "Off to the Ö
grandkiddos are happy and healthy and I want to keep them that
way. So I was a bit taken aback by the recent "Dirty
Dozen" list put out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)
that targets strawberries (they love!) and spinach as having
"the highest loads of pesticide residues."
this list are cherries and tomatoes ó favorites around our
house. This group recommends we eat organically produced forms
of these particular foods.
love my grandkids and I want them to be safe. I also want to
encourage them to appreciate high-quality food. Should I be
concerned that I freely choose conventionally grown as well as
organic produce for them?
food toxicologists. Research from the USDA Pesticide Data
Program (interestingly the same data used by the Dirty Dozen
group) determines actual risks from pesticide residues on
food. And these scientists place a strong focus on foods
consumed by infants and children. Their conclusion? "The
detectible residues of pesticides on our food pose no concern
for infants and children."
to do with what we can now detect. Modern technology makes it
possible to find one residue in a billion parts, says PhD food
toxicologist Tamika Sims. Thatís like one drop of water in
an Olympic-size swimming pool or 3 seconds out of 100 years.
issue is the dose. And the detectible residues found in our
food are minuscule Ö or they are not allowed to enter our
food supply. For example, says Sims, if in one day my
grandkids could eat 1508 strawberries with the highest
pesticide residue ever recorded by the USDA, they would still
not reach a level that would have any negative impact on them.
important to remember too, say farmers who utilize both
organic and conventional farming methods, that pesticides are
used on both types of crops. And both are tightly regulated by
the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug
Administration and the US Department of Agriculture.
reason, the Dirty Dozen report has largely been discredited by
the scientific community ó the folks who actually conduct
some common ground, however. The EWG confirms that "the
health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure." And they
"definitely recommend eating produce from the Dirty Dozen
list rather than foods or snacks that are not as
can agree on this: My grandkids and I benefit from eating
fruits and vegetables, organically or conventionally grown.
can go, we can go!"