Environmental toxin exposure is a growing health concern. Precocious puberty in children and new onset autoimmune disease in adults are just a few of the consequences. Below are recommendations to limit our exposures as a community.
- Eat plenty of vegetables. Whenever you can, buy food grown without pesticides or with fewer pesticides. Look for labels indicating that food is certified organic, transitional organic, grown using Integrated Pest Management, or certified to contain no detected residues.
- Wash all produce well. Use a vegetable scrub brush when appropriate.
- Avoid out-of-season produce. Out-of-season produce is more likely to have been imported, possibly from a country with less stringent pesticide regulations.
- Buy locally grown produce whenever possible. Local produce is less likely to have been treated with post-harvest pesticides because it isn’t shipped long distances. Farmers’ markets or farm stands are good sources of locally grown food.
- Grow some of your own food if you can, without chemicals.
- Avoid using synthetic pesticides and herbicides like Roundup in your home or on your lawn. It is important to reduce your exposure to these chemicals as much as possible. If you find the need for pesticides, consider natural alternatives such as Neem oil and chili pepper spray. Wear gloves and keep all pesticides, whether natural or synthetic, away from your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Speak out for a safer food production system by asking your supermarket manager to stock sustainably grown food and writing to your representative to urge him/her to pass better pesticide controls and make sustainable farming our nation’s top agricultural priority.