Blog Archives

Peaches not so Peachie – New Report Ranks Pesticides in Produce

News of this new “Shoppers Guide to Pesticides” came to me via Mother Jones this morning. It’s worth a look. It ranks 47 different types of fruit and veggies by the amount of pesticide residue contain. imageWe should all care because eating a bunch a pesticides along with your daily portion of produce is known to effect your nervous and hormone systems. Pesticides are toxins with carcinogenic qualities. Coming in contact with them can also irritate your eyes, skin and lungs, according to the report, which cites a slew of scientific studies.

It also offers tips on how to minimize your exposure but they are pretty limited; The authors suggest go organic. They also put in a plug for pressing lawmakers to demand full-disclosure of pesticides used in growing the food we innocently purchase in the supermarkets. And, once we knew, demand those toxins are limited or eliminated altogether.

Good information but pretty lame advice which has been doled out on this subject for some years now with little movement toward full disclosure by the agribusiness giants in this country and abroad that produce so much of our food supply. Luckily, farmers’ market season is approaching. I am, however, sometimes worried that the small farmers who sell at our neighborhood market in Takoma Park might be using the same old pesticides and simply coasting on their “family farm” looks. What guarantee do we have that farmers market sellers are adhering to better practices and using fewer chemical inputs?


EPA Makes it Official: Greenhouse Gases a Threat to Public Health + Environment

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency followed through on its promise today and announced that it will be cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson made the announcement this afternoon that greenhouse gases threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.

The agency just posted the video of the conference. And, here’s a soundbite from Jackson’s speech.

Women Wear More Than 500 Chemicals Daily, Study Says

Shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, makeup, body lotions – count up all the chemical ingredients in these other feminine beauty products and the average woman “hosts” 515 chemicals on her body every day, according to a new study of British women.

Yikes! Was that what the UN was getting at yesterday when its new report concluded women are more adversely affected by the world’s environmental problems? No, probably no. And, the women don’t seem concerned either. The deodorant company that sponsored the new British study says seven out of ten women surveyed said they aren’t worried that their beauty regimes could hurt their health.

What the study doesn’t say is whether the chemicals actually DO pose a threat to human or environmental health. No need, really. Plenty of other studies have identified carcinogens like lead, mercury, parabens, phthalates and other chemicals that can mimic human hormones and may disrupt your body’s functioning.

Sustainablity News from around the Web

Rapid changes to our environment threaten the foundations of human health, according to a new study, reported here.

Another study has found folic acid supplements taken by pregnant women may reduce asthma risks in the child.

“Clunker” trade-ins were mostly used to purchase pickup trucks with nearly as bad environmental impacts.

Federal officials are pressing Maryland and other states that drain into the Chesapeake Bay to get serious about cleanup efforts.

MoJo is reporting that “It’s Official: No Climate Bill This Year”

WAPo has a piece on why more than 3.4 million acres of land that farmers used to set aside as part of a federal conservation program are being plowed again since September when the contracts expired. At risk are “millions of acres of habitat for quail, pheasant, prairie chickens and other wildlife and established filter strips and forested buffers to protect streams, lakes and rivers from sedimentation and agricultural runoff.”

Environmentalists are fighting the Obama Administration’s appointment of a lobbyist as its  chief agricultural trade negotiator.