This post is sponsored by the Alliance for Food and Farming
Farmers hold a special place in my heart. There is nothing more that I enjoy than listening to the stories of their humble beginnings and spending time in their fields. Watching the workers take care of the fields, which often includes family members, perform their unique skills day after day, encourages me to learn more about farming so that I can share that knowledge with my friends and family.
I wish everyone could speak to farmers and watch how their eyes light up as they talk about their farms. The beauty that embraces their land probably feeds their heart every day with love, joy, and pride.
Sometimes our hard working farmers and agricultural experts who feed us through life, don’t get to share everything they wish we knew about their every day joys and challenges at the farm. Following is a list of facts, truths, and indispensable information, straight from the source: your farmer and agriculture expert.
What your farmer wishes you knew:
• Food safety is a top priority
• Fruit and vegetable farmers’ first consumers are their own families. They eat from their fruit and vegetable farms every day
• They are conscientious about feeding their families nutritious and safe fruits and veggies
• Farmers are the first stewards of the land. Keeping their lands safe for the next generations is crucial. Healthy soil = healthy crops
What agriculture expert’s wish you knew:
• Only 1 in 10 Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables each day (Centers for Disease Control: July 2015)
• If half of all Americans added one more serving of fruits and veggies in their daily diet, 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented annually (Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, “Estimation of Cancer Risks and Benefits Associated With a Potential Increased Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables.” May 2012.)
• Studies show that fear inducing safety messages on produce confuses consumers and may result in reduced purchasing of any fruits and veggies. (Nutrition Today,” Low Income Shoppers and Fruits and Vegetables: What Do They Think.” October 2016; Journal of Culture, Food and Environment, “Individuals May Consider Organic an Important Factor When Defining Healthy Food.” January 2015
• Decades of studies show plant rich diets improve health and prevent diseases. These studies were largely conducted using non-organic produce.
• Analysis of the “dirty dozen” list found that substitution of organic produce over conventional produce, did not result in a reduction of risk. (Journal of Toxicology. “Dietary Exposure to Pesticide Residues from Commodities Alleged to Contain the Highest Contamination Levels.” May 2011.)
• USDA data shows pesticide residues on foods tested are at levels below the tolerances established by the EPA and pose no safety concern. (USDA Pesticide Data Program Report, “What Consumers Should Know.” November 2016)
• The FDA says washing produce under running tap water reduces and often eliminates pesticide residues if they are present on fresh produce.
Want to know more about American farming practices?
Here are a number of respected resources that confirm the facts:
• 2015 USDA Pesticide Data Program Report: What Consumers Should Know.
• Nutrition Today: Low Income Shoppers and Fruits and Vegetables: What Do They Think?
• International Journal of Food Communications: Chronic Dietary Exposure to Pesticide Residues in the United States
• Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health: Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and All-Cause, Cancer and CVD Mortality: Analysis of Health Survey for England Data
• Food and Chemical Toxicology: Estimation of Cancer Risks and Benefits Associated with Potential Increased Consumption of Produce.
• Analysis, University of California Personal Chemical Exposure Program Toxicologist: Pesticides in perspective
• Journal of Toxicology: Dietary Exposure to Pesticide Residues from Commodities Alleged to Contain the Highest Contamination Levels
• Expert Panel Report: A Review of the Science on the Potential Health Effects of Pesticide Residues on Food and Related Statements Made by Interest Groups.
• Analysis, Former Director of California Department of Pesticide Regulations: Pesticide Use Trends in California Agriculture
• White Paper: Evidence for Low Dose Effects of Organophosphorous Insecticides
• Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment: They Just Say Organic Food is Healthier: Perceptions of Healthy Food Among Supermarket Shoppers in Southwest Baltimore.
• Pesticides residues are so low on produce a child could eat 100’s to 1,000’s of servings a day and not have any health effects from residues (Based on toxicology
For more information about fruits and veggies safety visit:
AGRICULTURE SAFETY RESOURCES
ORGANIZATION WEBSITE NOTES
The National Academy of Science http://nas-sites.org/ge-crops/
The Center for Food Integrity http://www.foodintegrity.org/category/cfi-blog-food-nutrition/
European Academy of Science http://www.easac.eu/home/reports-and-statements/detail-view/article/planting-the.html
GMO answers https://gmoanswers.com/
International Food Information Council http://www.foodinsight.org/education/food-biotechnology-communicator%E2%80%99s-guide-improving-understanding
Biology Fortified https://www.biofortified.org/
UC Berkley http://ucbiotech.org/
Grist-Nathaenal Johnson http://grist.org/series/panic-free-gmos/
Alliance for Food and Farming www.safefruitsandveggies.com
Produce for Better Health www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
Visiting farms week after week continues to reinforce my trust in American farming. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what farmers do every day to feed not only America, but also a significant segment of the world. Feel assured that the produce you are consuming (conventional or organic) are full of good-for-you nutrients and are safe regardless of the farming methods utilized.