10 April 2006

Chemicals in our fruit and veg

| seepi
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The April Choice Magazine reports that the ACT does no testing of chemical residues in fresh produce. Tasmania is the only other state not to do any testing. The ABC website has also picked up on this article.

Even states that do test seem to be fairly relaxed about it, and most overseas produce is not tested – despite countries like China and the US being known to use a lot more chemicals than Australia. The ABC suggests a national fruit testing regime. Should the ACT be doing something itself? Or is there anywhere to get cheapish organic fruit and veg around?

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Seepi – 95% isn’t tested for pesticides? That means 5% is. Considering the amount of produce coming into the country, I’d say that’s a pretty damn good random sample. What are they going to do – test all of it? Who’s paying?

FYI – Domestic produce is tested at closer to 0.1% (depending on your state, of course…)

The greatest pile of crap foisted on the gullible public is that organic produce is better for you than conventionally produced. It’s not substantially better in any way.

What it IS substantially is more expensive

Before you pro-organic types start bleating; it’s also of fairly dubious benefit to farm ecosystems. Organic farming isn’t all sunshine and lollypops – normal organic farming is not that much better for the soil than conventional farming. You need to get into permaculture to work with ecosystems and improve marginal and degraded land, and that’s not commercially viable in a broadacre setting.

Give up on the organic produce. A lot of it is crap, anyway (well, not the freerange organic poultry from Belco markets. Damn it’s good. I think they put smack in it).

Give the farmers markets at Epic a go. Most of the stuff is sourced from the local area, all of it is Australian, and it gives you a better idea of what is good when. Get back in touch with local produce – doesn’t matter if it’s organic or not. What matters is it’s fresh, it supports local growers and it didn’t have to be trucked in cold storage from north Qld and held in a cold store in inert gas for six months before you got to eat it.

Ahh autumn. Pink lady apples and pumpkin ought to be hitting their stride.

Damn. Now I’m hungry again.

or grow your own. Judging by the commenting lately you have been testing soem of your own product anyways!

Well Seepi,
here’s the trick. In the farming game anything called a pesticide is generally a direct application on the (exterior)outside of your crop, or the flora that is producing carrying it.

If you are worried about buying import fruit and vege. dont go near a smelly hippy that will fill your brain with needless greenie crap, try reading the sign above the product you are buying. it is regulatory now to declare if you selling import fruit. If you don’t trust your local Super Mario Brother, find another one. There is more then enough to go around. Alternatively try buying seasonal fruit and vege.

Choice says: “Australian organic produce that has been tested has been found to be either free of pesticides altogether or any residues were at very low levels.”
They say of imports: “95% of imported fruit and vegetables come into the country with no independent testing for pesticide residues.”

Amen Sssanta. How about we all just stop panicking about how we’re going to die and start living.

The only chemical residue on fruit that is found in Australia will be on the ‘skins’ of the fruit. Just wash em before chucking em in your fruit bowl or guts and you should be OK. Alternatively, if you had a normal suatralian upbringing playing in dirt, you should be able to handle the trace amounts of spray that will be found on the fruit after the packing process anyways. Another germ free social engineering wankfest.

Dunno if the ANU co-op carries organic produce any more, but they did when I was a member.

I’d try the farmers markets at Epic. There’s a mix of organic and non-organic, but it’s all fresh and local.

Anyway (and here comes the big shock people) there are loads of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides on organic produce. Organic farmers are permitted to use pyrethrum and copper-based compounds on their crops. A dose of copper is much more toxic to humans than a lot of the so called “chemical cocktail”. Pyrethrum aint as touchy-feely as it’s made out to be either.

ACT doesn’t do any testing cause there’s not really any concerns with produce in Australia. Sprays are way too expensive to overuse, and you’ll need waaaaaay more exposure to any of them than you’ll ever get in the supermarket before they build up to toxic levels.

Also – Imported produce gets as much, if not more testing than the local stuff. It just gets tested at the border by the feds, and not in the shops by the states.

There’s a good organic grocer at Fyshwick markets, although I hear the one at Belconnen markets has a bigger range. Anyone know if ANU Food Co-op has organic produce?

I allways get Organic Avocados and they are allways so much better tasting. The best ones I have had so far were from the Grifith Organic shop. They are usually a lot more expensive though but worth it. Im starting to buy more Organic Veges when I can but some times the produce can look pretty ordinary. Mind you it pays to shop at the right time. Which isnt late on sunday at the Markets when most of the good stuff is long gone.

I would rather chemicals to bugs

If I recall correctly Gorman House Markets sell organic fruit & veg, however you must be prepared to dial your brain down to about 10% operational capacity to deal with the “frantic” pace.

Alternatively Hall Rural Markets are my preferred choice, and a great place for a gourmet spud while you’re there.

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