France is leading the way with their vision of a pesticide-free country, with a total ban of pesticide use in all public forests, parks, and gardens, and a ban for all private gardens by 2019. Eventually, in France, you will not be able to purchase pesticides; how awesome is that! They also have a ban on plastic bags for vegetables, which is the start of a larger initiative to ban plastic bags, and they have also banned GMO cultivation since 2014.
Unfortunately, here in NZ, there are a lot of pesticides in our food and they’re still being sprayed in our parks and around public spaces such as berms. There’s a really interesting article published by Safe Food on pesticide residue levels in NZ children, which shockingly are FIVE times that of US children.
This is likely due to the large amount of bread, fruit and vegetables eaten here that are not organic and therefore can contain high levels of pesticides as wheat and fruit in particular are heavily sprayed. Going totally organic or growing your own fruit and vegetables using compost and natural fertilisers, is the best option, however that’s not possible for everyone.
Here in NZ we do have access to farmers markets and local produce that is often organic, check with your grower to be sure. If you’re wanting to know where to start, or which foods contain the most pesticides there is a list of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ that was put out by Safe Food to help you make informed choices, if you only choose these as organic it’s a really good start …
- broccoli & cauliflower,