Food Safety

Published on June 18th, 2009 | by Gina Munsey


What’s On My Food? Searchable Database Reveals Toxicology of Pesticide Residue

Pesticides on FoodYou’ve likely heard of Skin Deep, the cosmetic safety database which lists the toxicity of ingredients in personal care products.  But did you know there is now a similar database for food?

What’s On My Food, a brand-new searchable database launched yesterday by the Pesticide Action Network, will give you the inside scoop on exactly what chemicals are on the food you eat.  With just a click of the mouse, you can view the toxicology risk and known pesticide residues on everything from almonds to oats to winter squash .

For instance,  did you know 82% of conventional applesauce contains Carbendazim, an endocrine disruptor known to cause tumors in rats and ranked by Friends for Earth as one of the “Filthy Four” pesticides? Suddenly organic applesauce doesn’t seem quite so expensive, and the thought of making it at home doesn’t seem nearly as daunting.

The helpful — if not somewhat disturbing — website details each pesticide’s risk to human health by placing each chemical in one of the following toxicological categories:

  • Carcinogen
  • Hormone Disrupters
  • Neurotoxin
  • Developmental/Reproductive Toxins

Data used to compile this database was gathered from the EPA’s Pesticide Reregistration Decisions, the Pesticide Info Database, and the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program.

Image via Jekrub on Flickr under a Creative Commons License

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About the Author

Gina was born in Mexico, but spent her early childhood years in Eastern Europe. She gained her Associate and Bachelor degrees from schools in California and Michigan, respectively, and was mostly recently employed in the Business Systems field in California. Diagnosed with a corn allergy in her early twenties, Gina has taken on the challenge of living corn-free -- as well as dairy, wheat, and gluten-free -- in a corn-saturated world. She currently lives in beautiful Northern California. Gina loves her husband, watering her plants, writing poetry and blog posts, creating collages, browsing art galleries, eliminating toxic chemicals, reading the Bible, doing laundry, reading cookbooks and substituting ingredients in recipes, collecting broken shells from the beach, repurposing everyday objects, and watching curtains dance over open windows. Follow her on Twitter @gmunsey.

7 Responses to What’s On My Food? Searchable Database Reveals Toxicology of Pesticide Residue

  1. Kate says:

    Oh my gosh, that is awful. Who knew applesauce could be so scary? Yikes! If you find a great homemade recipe, let us know.

  2. meatlessmama says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this link!

  3. Lori Busa says:

    Wow! The commercial food industry is actually far worse than previously imagined.
    And, yes, I will keep making my home-made applesauce from apple trees that have never been sprayed! Thanks for the great information!

  4. Amanda says:

    This provides all the more impetus to eat organic, eat local. Go to your farmer’s market, meet the farmers, go to the farms, see where your food comes from.

    Kate – applesauce might be the easiest thing in the world to make.
    1. Buy or pick organic apples (6 or so, I like to mix tart and sweet varieties).
    2. Peel the apples, and cut into chunks.
    3. Toss them into a crock pot with 1/2 cup of water.
    4. Add cinnamon to taste (1-2 tsp).
    5. Cook for a few hours, stirring occasionally.
    6. You are done! Enjoy!

    • R Myers says:

      You people are idiots. Why don’t you explain the statistical relevance of data that shows 4 ppb of a subatance in conventional product compared to .8 ppb in orgamic.

      • Hi there, R Myers! While we’re totally cool with disagreement and debate around here, namecalling is not OK.

        I understand that food can be a touchy issue, but calling someone an idiot doesn’t change too many minds. Neither Gina nor Amanda are idiots, whether you disagree with them or not.

  5. Pingback: “Toxic America” Special Looks at Dangers of Pesticides and Household Chemicals : Eat. Drink. Better.

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