The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) “promotes the elimination of highly hazardous pesticides and offers solutions that protect people and the environment.” A timely message, given all the emerging research pointing to links between pesticides and illnesses from autism to Gulf War illness to Parkinson’s disease.
But to really make its point, PAN has created a new website – What’s on my food? – with a detailed database of information on the types of pesticides commonly found in/on each food we eat, from almonds to winter squash.
The profile for each food indicates how many pesticides have been found in it, according to USDA and EPA sampling data. And for each pesticide, how often it is found, and the average amount found. (Hint: Nothing looks too good. An alarming 11 pesticides may be found on almonds. But almonds start to look good when you see the 50 pesticides for collard greens, and 45 for kale.)
The emphasis is on non-organic foods, of course, though organic counterparts may not be pesticide free either, owing to contamination in soil, air and water. Consider that, according to PAN, “888 million pounds of pesticides are applied each year in the U.S. – that's nearly 3 pounds per person.”