When it comes to Australia's 26 billion dollar food production, 17 billion dollars worth of that food, or 68%, has been heavily sprayed, often with numerous pesticides. In fact a non organic strawberry can yield over 40 different chemicals as opposed to an organic strawberry which consists of ...........just a strawberry and no hidden nasties.
Australia uses a whopping amount, around a third of the worlds pesticides and has the highest incidence of pesticide resistance, where weeds and insects become resistant to the chemicals sprayed in the world - an issue which is generally addressed by the application of a greater number of pesticides.
So what happens to us when we ingest all of these immune and central nervous system suppressants? Well pretty much exactly what happens to those it has been designed to kill, only just on a smaller scale. Pesticides generally work using the same mechanisms regardless of size or species - this goes for natural pesticides too, such as pyrethrums.
Pesticide exposure is linked to possible problems with human endocrine function (which effects the body at VERY low doses), ADHD, learning and behavioural problems, lower IQ and increases in lymphoblastic leukaemia in children. Long term exposure to pesticides have been linked to the development of Parkinson's disease.
So how can we reduce our pesticide exposure?
The first step is to stop eating heavily sprayed foods and opt for organic options, or grow your own. We will be talking about ways to combat unwanted creepy crawlies in another blog.
According to Friends of the Earth, Melbourne - The list of most sprayed Australian foods (highest residue levels) is as follows, from the worst down:
If you can't go organic on everything I suggest start with your fruit and veg - especially if you are pregnant or feeding young children.
Going organic not only helps protect your health but protects our birds, bees, wildlife and flora diversity.
Getting an organic box delivery, starting an organic hub or grouping together to buy from the markets and divide is the perfect way to eat local, seasonal and organic foods that are more nutritious, satisfying and encourage the body to thrive.
I recommend Pams organic and biodynamic which can be found on FB for the best value.