Major food brands flunk pesticide reduction standards, new report reveals

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food-brands(NaturalHealth365)  In 2019, a concerning 70% of U.S.-grown produce tested positive for pesticide residues.  Ideally, such a high contamination rate would have plummeted to zero in a matter of years.  Yet, as we approach 2024, both domestic and global corporate farms continue to use these hazardous chemicals on crops.

In fact, according to a recent report, leading food brands are deploying pesticides more extensively than previously believed.  Despite the establishment of pesticide standards aimed at minimizing health risks, many corporate farms are falling short of compliance.

Why you should think twice before buying from a “Food Giant”

The truth is that corporate food giants shaping our food landscape are ultimately detrimental to our well-being.  The aforementioned report assigns a severe “F” rating to these industry behemoths that dominate agricultural sectors across the U.S.  Despite a growing demand for uncontaminated, pesticide-free food, leading brands continue to compromise public health.

Titled “2023 Pesticides in the Pantry,” this report sheds light on the hazards of a food system under corporate influence.  Compiled by the environmental advocacy group As You Sow, the report highlights the importance of both environmental stewardship and corporate responsibility.

A closer examination of the report reveals a spectrum of grades ranging from “F” to “C” for various businesses.  Yet, when considering the overall picture, the aggregate score is a resounding “F.”  Reflecting on data from just two years prior, a striking 81% of U.S. consumers had voiced a preference for pesticide-exempt food – commonly known as organic produce.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, these are the 17 companies that were investigated – in alphabetical order: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bloch & Guggenheimer (B&G) Foods Inc., Campbell Soup Company, Cargill, Conagra Brands Inc., Danone S. A., Del Monte Pacific Limited Foods Inc., General Mills Inc., Kellanova, The Kraft Heinz Company, Lamb Weston Holdings Inc., Mars Incorporated, Mondelēz International Inc., Nestlé, PepsiCo Inc., Post Holdings, Inc., and The J. M. Smucker Company.

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Corporate farmers fall short on pesticide reduction targets

Cailin Dendas, the Environmental Health Program Director at As You Sow, highlighted in a recent interview that despite setting pesticide reduction goals for the upcoming two to seven years, corporate farmers have not made significant strides toward these targets.

Adding to the concerns, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) unveiled findings just a week subsequent to the As You Sow report.  Their study revealed alarming data: over 40% of baby food products contain concerning levels of harmful chemicals.

While research consistently indicates that even minimal pesticide exposure can exacerbate chronic health conditions, there remains a reluctance among corporate entities, and federal and state governments to thoroughly investigate the direct link between pesticide-laden foods and the onset of such chronic ailments.

Strategies to steer clear of pesticide-contaminated foods

It’s evident that certain corporations and neglectful farmers compromise the purity of our food.  So, how can we respond effectively?

Most local supermarkets now feature an organic produce section.  Whether you reside in a bustling city or a remote location, it’s worthwhile to scout for organic options at nearby stores or farmers’ markets.  Prioritize products with clear labeling and consider delving into online reviews and research to gauge a brand’s pesticide usage.

In addition, when you visit a farmers’ market, you may find a local farmer that you like … consider visiting that farm (directly) and support their work by getting their food, on a regular basis.

For those without access to outdoor spaces, consider establishing an indoor garden.  Even in limited spaces, vertical hanging gardens can be an innovative solution, allowing you to cultivate fresh, pesticide-free vegetables and herbs right at home.

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