TAG: Pesticides

Corn: A Kernel Of Destruction

Corn Kernels

Corn has become an inescapable additive to both edible and non-edible products. Every day, we are bombarded with corn derived products. Sodas laden with corn-syrup, ketchup, tortillas, ice cream, candy – foods far from resembling the light golden kernels of freshly husked corn – are a constant source of corn and its most prevalent by-product, corn-syrup. The use of which has increased diabetes and obesity rates. In addition, the majority of corn grown in the U.S. goes to feed livestock. But it doesn’t end with our diets. The excess of corn brought on by overproduction leaves the USDA scrambling for other avenues… read more

The Quest for a Chemical Free Garden

The Quest for a Chemical Free Garden

A few summers back, I tried to have a completely organic garden…and failed. Miserably. My garden was free of all pesticides and chemicals, and the only protection was fencing to keep the wildlife out. Good cultivated earth, nutrient-rich topsoil, seeds, sun and water only. It’s amazing how these simple ingredients can invite a whole slew of little things, overnight even, that will take over your entire carefully tendered space. My organic experience ended up looking like, well, a science fiction experiment. Several strange creatures swarmed my garden, and at times my entire yard. The party had started, and it lasted… read more

What If You Can’t Afford To Buy Organic?

What If You Can’t Afford To Buy Organic?

Organic produce and food items may be preferred by many, but they are also unaffordable by many, too. Often times, selecting organic means that you will pay more at the checkout. Much more. When you are buying for a household on a budget, sometimes choosing organic isn’t a choice at all. So, what are the options if organic items are out of range? It is still possible to make the most of healthy and conscious food selections while staying on a budget. To start, incorporating tips that stretch a dollar will allow grocery money to go further, which will let… read more

The Change in Farming Practices

Sustainable agriculture

For thousands of years, human civilizations have flourished without causing damage to the earth, co-existing alongside other species without disrupting fellow eco-systems. Despite their name, early hunter-gatherer tribes subsisted predominately on gathering. The exceptions to this were the tribes, like those in modern-day Alaska, who survived primarily by fishing. Though it is easy to picture these tribes collecting an abundance of fish, this was not the case. Not only did they limit their harvests, ensuring they took only what was needed, but they would have been encumbered by the weight of large harvests, preventing efficient travel. Because of this, resources… read more

Naturally Effective Produce Washes

Naturally Effective Produce Washes

Many consumers are concerned about pesticides or sprays used in the production of fruit and vegetables. As a consequence, produce washes are available for purchase. Are they as effective as plain water, or do they leave a residue behind too, and money wasted? According to experts, specially developed fruit washes are not needed, and do not provide any benefits over rubbing foods under running water. Preparing produce with clean hands, utensils and at sanitary workstations helps to ensure contamination doesn’t sneak in also. Though thoroughly washing with running water provides effective cleansing, a Cook’s Illustrated study concurred that after examining different methods… read more

“Bee Safe” Plants Found to Contain Harmful Insecticides

bee_flower

Despite the efforts of home gardeners to grow plants in a manner that is safe for bee,  many gardeners are actually filling their yards with deadly insecticides. Bee die-off rates have reached staggering proportions within recent years. Last winter, beekeepers reported a loss of 40-90% of their bees. There are a few known causes contributing to this death toll, from commercial insecticide use to Colony Collapse disorder, a phenomenon discovered in France in the 1990’s, in which the adult bees mysteriously abandon the hive, leaving even their queens behind. Now it seems some of the problem is coming from the… read more

New Insect Diet That May Reduce Pesticide Use

New Insect Diet That May Reduce Pesticide Use

Agriculture may have a new best friend. And a seemingly unlikely one – insects. Resorting to dousing fields with pesticides to control infestations may soon be a thing of the past. Researchers have been working to find a way to wean off of chemical crop control by integrating more natural means to kill pests that are harmful to harvest yields. And it sounds like they may have found an alternative. By introducing a man-made diet to specific insect populations, they are able to facilitate the eaters to mass produce in huge numbers. Then they can be released into fields where they feed… read more

Tips For Buying Organic

Tips For Buying Organic

There are many reasons to buy organic food, however it can drastically dent a hole in your wallet. The pesticides commonly sprayed on foods are a worry and organics just taste better! But, there are ways to eat organic and save money. You just need to know what you should definitely buy organic, because of the foods’ susceptibility to pesticides and those that are resistant. Non-Organic Bananas – pesticides stay on the outer skin Avocado – the thick skin protects the flesh Onions – they don’t see as many pest threats, which means less pesticide use Pineapple – it has… read more

The Harming Effects of Pesticide Exposure

Pesticides Cause Harm

Research has shown that pesticide exposure increases the risk for a variety of serious health problems. According to Dr. Cathy Vakil (2010) a larg number of studies have found a link between cancer rates and pesticide exposure. Many studies have shown that pesticides may trigger neurological problems ranging from cognitive dysfunction to neurobehavioural issues to depression. Indications from around the world show that pesticide exposure can increase the risk of birth defects and may affect fertility as well. Some studies suggest that the babies of women who are exposed to pesticides while pregnant or even before conception are at increased risk for… read more

Garden Pest Control

Garden Pest Control

Pests can be a problem, especially in food gardens. Here are ways to control pests without resorting to toxic chemicals. Companion Planting: Plants such as onions, garlic, mint, oregano, basil, thyme, and chives repel many common garden pests. Ladybugs: Ladybugs are voracious consumers of aphids, spider mites, and other pests. You can purchase them at garden supply stores or attract them by growing plants such as dill and fennel. Birds: Avian visitors, which also eat plenty of garden pests including slugs, can be encouraged to visit by growing native shrubs, trees, flowers, and ivy and providing bird feeders. Natural Insecticide:… read more