Pesticides: How You Can Possibly Bring Food Borne Diseases to Your Home

Eating organic isn’t enough to stay healthy. No matter how much you try to stay away from chemicals, the fact is, they’re everywhere. It’s in your barbecue, your favorite chips, your hamburger, and even on your healthy salad.

Food handling and preparation play a very important role in making sure that what you’re eating is clean and safe. Before eating raw fruits and vegetables, it’s important to wash them properly to get rid of pesticides and any other chemicals.

According to research, petroleum based chemicals used in pesticides, consumer products, and job environments are linked to some health disorders. In fact, they are found to cause accelerated aging to the brain, blood brain barrier, and immune system. It’s also proven that these chemicals can also alter critical hormones that are necessary for teenage behavioral and neurological development.

Illnesses identified in the medical research include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child behavior disorders including learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity ADHD (attention deficit disorders) as well as altering hormones essential for maintaining healthy bodily processes. Petroleum based chemicals are believed to cause these problems by a variety of routes including – impairing proper DNA (Gene) expression, weakening DNA Repair, accelerating gene loss, degeneration of the body’s detoxification defenses (liver and kidneys) as well as gradual weakening of the brain’s primary defense (the Blood Brain Barrier).

Know more about the research here.

Post Harvest Handling and Preparation

Crop preparations do not end during harvest. In fact, it’s just getting started. And just like everything else, a good post-harvest preparation is important to make sure that the crops are safe and free from any crop diseases that can harm people’s health.

With that being said, there are a lot of things to consider. Here are some of them:

Water quality and safety – During the production, a clean supply of water is important to ensure that your crops are well and properly hydrated. A clean water supply is also a vital part of your post-harvest preparation.

Worker Sanitation – Farmers, workers, and anyone who will have direct access to crops should make sure their hands are cleaned and practice proper sanitation to avoid the spread of bacteria and other contaminants.

Facility Sanitation – When doing your post-harvest management, you have to ensure that your building, equipment, and storage are all sanitized.

Cleaning the Product – Washing and cleaning the crops with clean water will reduce product loss due to spoilage and reduce microbial risks.

Sorting and Packing – Crops are sorted out to see which ones are good for trade. Then, they are packed neatly to prolong their life and remain fresh.

For more information about post-harvest management, visit this website.

The Agricultural Health Study: What We Need To Know

It’s been more than 20 years since the AHS or Agricultural Health Study was created. The main goal of this study is to collect agricultural information to have a greater understanding of the role of agricultural exposures in or health. Throughout the years, the study has collected a lot of information that links chemical substances used in agriculture to serious health illnesses like cancer.

Pesticides and Cancer

Women who reported using OP insecticides were more likely to develop breast cancer than women who never used these insecticides. In addition, some specific OPs were associated with other cancers:

  • Malathion, the most commonly used OP insecticide, was associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer.
  • Diazinon, another common OP insecticide, was associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

This is the first comprehensive evaluation of the use of these insecticides among women; it will be important to confirm these findings in other studies.

Know more about the study here.

The Effects of Phytosanitary Regulations on U.S. Imports of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

What are the regulations for the fruits and vegetable we import and consume? Foodborne illnesses and Food Biosecurity are essential matters. The United States Department of Agriculture, particularly its Economic Research Service, created an interesting report on the topic.

Get a summary of the report here.
Get the direct link to USDA website here.

By Peyton Ferrier 

Since 2006, Peyton Ferrier has been an economist in the Food and Specialty Crops Branch in the Market and Trade Division at ERS. His work considers the welfare effects of the evolving market structure of food industries, especially relating to import regulation and quality assurance.