Organic Doesn’t Mean Free of Pesticides

An undergraduate chemistry student, in a small-scale study, recently screened vegetables for a number of banned pesticides and made an interesting discovery: The chemicals showed up on both conventionally grown and organic veg — in roughly comparable amounts. In fact, organic carrots had higher amounts of some chemicals than the conventional vegetables did.

In the United States, to carry the organic label, crops must be grown without the use of synthetic-chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or sewage sludge. In fact, such agricultural amendments must not have been used on a field for at least 3 years prior to an organic crop’s planting — a period that is supposed to wash the soil of chemical residue. However, many long-banned chemicals could still linger in the soil.

None were detected at levels considered dangerous. Remember to wash and peel your veg!

Worth bearing in mind if you’re trying to eat ‘chemical free’ food. I’m able to grow some veg (organically) – but am way off being self-sufficient. This article also acts as a reminder of the extent that the soil was polluted in the past – and how long the effects could last. Would be good to see a large-scale study – independent of agriculture/food industry.